Saturday, September 26, 2015

Football Counter-Programming 2015--Week 4


Welcome back again everyone--to another attempt at Football Counter-Programming!

How much time did you spend between last Saturday and now thinking about football? Be honest! I'm assuming you thought about it on Sunday . . . and again on Monday night . . . and probably once more on Thursday night. Isn't that enough time devoted to football thoughts? Can't we all get together for a bit right now and think about something else?

But what shall we think about today? Let's see what the Log Lady has to say and maybe we can go from there?

Hmmm. I think we will tackle the topic of sadness today, since that is what the Log Lady seems to be focusing on. And so I chose the image of Urban Meyer eating Sad Pizza a few years ago.

The Log Lady is giving a grim warning that the sadness will end at our time of death. And she is certainly right about that--struggle against that truth though we might. But that is a very pessimistic view of the world. (A view that is entirely within character on a show such as Twin Peaks.)

But I don't want to promote such a depressing weltanschaung. I want people to think and act more positively, rejecting the belief that this world is only about sadness. We can see so many wonderful things around us. But we have to try to see it.

This state of mind and this set of beliefs is rooted in my Christian faith--and it is something that I aim for . . . and something I fail to achieve quite often. But I was recently encouraged by listening to the Fresh Air interview between Terri Gross and Lutheran pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber.

Her approach towards the Lutheran Christian faith was filled with humor and humility, long on hope and effort and short on definitive authoritative answers. Instead, she focused strongly on a confidence in God's unwavering love for us--regardless of how we fall short.

How can we feel sad if this is the message we hold?

But many of us do feel sad. And the sadness is rooted in a personal dissatisfaction that seems hard to shake. And this dissatisfaction comes from our culture. We are told to do more, to be more, to see how others do and be and measure our own understanding of success against others--to see that success and grab it.

It is a result of the freedoms and the affluence that we are blessed with in the United States. We believe that good enough is never enough. If you think Good Enough is  okay, then you are a slacker and you are not living up to your potential. If you are content, then you are lazy.

But . . . don't we see people who seem content amid the turmoil and wonder what do they know? Aren't we envious of those who are calm and seem to know themselves? Don't we want to reach a place where we know our edges and we stay within them? And when we don't . . . doesn't that bring sadness?

So much of today's bickering and political fighting comes from well-meaning (some of them, I assume) people who are trying--in their own spiritually-interpreted way--to draw some boundaries. For many, the freedoms and opportunities of this country seem like dangerous zones of confusion. They want to put a wall around what is understood and stay secure within those definitions of right, wrong, good, bad. They want to eliminate the unfamiliar, because they don't want to live there.

Those that are calm and secure . .  . I think they are willing to live in their areas . . . and they are willing to let others live in their areas. That security within oneself is the key to calm. You center YOURSELF. You know where YOU are. And you don't worry so much about everyone else. That gives you peace and diminishes sadness.

So . . . those are my thoughts on that. What do you think? Leave me some feedback in the comments. Am I full of shit? Tell me.

Until next Saturday . . . remember: no one cares if your team's kicker can't consistently make field goals beyond 35 yards.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Fall TV Preview 2015--Fox

Hey and welcome back in to another in my slowly-developing Fall TV Preview for 2015.

I'm sorry that I haven't gotten all of these posts done and live before the official launching of the shows--at least for all of the mainstream networks. BUT, I hope that you are enjoying my other Fall-related offerings over in the Football Counter-Programming area.

On to Fox!


Oh boy . . . the calendar looks daunting on this first night of the TV week! So many half-hour shows!

I'll never get all of these posts written if I have to give thoughts on everything or try to come up a joke or whatever it is that you guys are expecting me to come up with. (Oh, hey . . . what ARE you guys expecting me to come up with? If you want something changed, leave me suggestions in the comments below.)

But anyhow, what is Fox giving us to enjoy on Sunday night? The good news--for me--is that none of these programs are brand new. Bob's Burgers [returns 9/27 @ 7:30], The Simpsons [returns 9/27 @ 8], and Family Guy [returns 9/27 @ 9] are all part of the animation block. But there is also Brooklyn Nine-Nine [returns 9/27 @ 8:30] and The Last Man on Earth [returns 9/27 @ 9:30] to round out the night. I've never been a consistent watcher of The Simpsons or Family Guy and I haven't let my kids (or Dean) talk me into liking Bob's Burgers. The biggest challenge for me on Sunday is Last Man on Earth. I watched more than half of last year's premiere season, but the complete unlikeability of Will Forte's Phil Miller character drove me away from watching any more of the last month of the show. And that is too bad, because I liked Will Forte and Kristen Schall and even January Jones. And I liked the idea of the show. But the writers were determined to make me so uncomfortable that I just couldn't sit through it anymore.


Okay, but now . . . here on Monday are some choices! First, there is Gotham [returned 9/21 @ 8] and then there is the new show, Minority Report [premiered 9/21 @ 9]. And I really am conflicted about what to do with Gotham. As you already know, I'm a fan of the superhero genre. And I think--in general--that the DC-based characters have fared better on television than they have in movies. BUT . . . Batman is the very big exception to that rule. Now, it is true that I am basing this on the very successful Christopher Nolan Batman movie trilogy rather than the shambling mess of Batman sequels that originally followed Tim Burton's 1989 original Michael Keaton blockbuster. But, you want Batman to do well, right? He's a cornerstone of the genre. He's someone that everyone knows at least something about. He's more approachable than Aquaman or even Wolverine.

But Gotham--in all of Fox's and DC's wisdom--is NOT ABOUT Batman. It's about Muppet Baby Bruce Wayne and the Gotham Police Department and the proto villains that we'll one day get to know more. But is that what we want? Smallville tried to tell the story of Clark Kent before he was wearing the big blue underwear. But teenage Clark still had Kryptonian powers! The problem with young Bruce Wayne is that he's got nothing but anger and confusion and money. He's a depressive Ritchie Rich when we want him to be doing crime fighting or learning how to train or deciding he won't use a gun or whatever. The journey towards Batman is so far away that the show seems unfulfilled.

All of this could be overcome if the staff had done a better job of writing dialogue and story last year. And maybe this season will be improved? I'm going to keep watching and I hope to report better things.


All new shows. On the same night. Three of them!

Grandfathered [premieres 9/29 @ 8] is the return of John Stamos. He's a guy (that I sort of equate to Neil Patrick Harris' Barney Stinson on HIMYM) who gets his life thrown out of whack by the sudden discovery of a child and that child's child (hense the name of the show).

If that sounds sort of typical, then maybe The Grinder [premieres 9/29 @ 8:30] would be better? It is different from Grandfathered because it is the return to TV of NOT John Stamos but rather Fred Savage . . . with the inclusion of a different version of Rob Lowe from the dude you liked a lot on Parks & Rec. What is The Grinder, though? It's about a successful lawyer that comes home to run the family law firm and finds himself in competition with his younger brother . . . also a lawyer. (I'd rather you take the interest in that concept and apply it to the MUCH better Better Call Saul [returns _____? 2016 over on AMC].

But . . . if you want something truly different--but also sort of familiar, then maybe you should give Scream Queens [premiered 9/22 @ 8] a try. It's different because it is a horror show about murder and victims and bad people. It's familiar in that it is by Ryan Murphy, who is the guy behind Glee and American Horror Story and its derivatives. So you see lots of that stable of actors and you can probably guess the style and feel of the show you'll be getting. (Kind of like when you decide to watch a Wes Anderson movie.)


One of the biggest hits in last year's TV schedule was Empire [returned 9/23 @ 9], a show about a family running a record label and filled with lots of drama and excitement. Truthfully, I didn't watch the show and while I know from headlines on social media that the show was a hit, I didn't click through the headlines to learn why it was a hit. But surely Fox hopes that success continues in its sophomore season. Did you watch? If so, what was good about it? Enlighten me in the comments.

The new show on Wednesday is Rosewood [premiered 9/23 @ 8], a show described thusly: "Private pathologist Beaumont Rosewood helps the Miami police department solve its toughest cases, whether they want his input or not, and teams up with maverick detective Annalise Villa to find clues where no one else can." Am I nuts or is this pretty much exactly how you might have described Rainn Wilson's Backstrom show last year? (Nobody watched that show either.)


If you are a fan of Bones you don't need me to prod you to keep watching the show or even to tell you when it comes back on [returns 10/1 @ 8]. And I suppose the same can be said for one of last year's most hit-and-miss efforts, Sleepy Hollow [returns 10/1 @ 9]. I am almost as conflicted with Sleepy Hollow as I was above with Gotham--with the crucial exception that I am much more ready to dump Sleepy Hollow from my DVR. (Actually, I think I already have.)

I guess I just don't care anymore? Will I be able to simply drop it and walk away? True . . . the show is pleasantly bonkers and very unpredictable. But sometimes it feels like I'm rubbernecking at the location of a car crash. I really want to look away, but if I do I might miss seeing something memorable.

Ugh. Typing that just made me feel dirty.


Ahh Friday. The day of castoffs, rejects, and reality.

But hold on, that is a pretty negative view of things. And MasterChef Junior [returns 11/6 @ 8] is one of the more positive reality shows. Because it is about cooking competition and it features kids. Who doesn't like to watch kids cook? Who doesn't want to root them on as they saute and whip up remoulade? (Yeah, I spelled that correctly on the first try!) Who can't smile when they try to fancy up something depressingly kid friendly, like hot dogs? And the judges tend to be nicer as well.

But what about World's Funniest Fails [returns 11/6 @ 9]? I don't remember this show from past years. But it feels like a show that falls on the Reality Mean Spectrum to the right of America's Funniest Home Videos and to the left of Jackass.

You get the idea . . .


And, well, mercifully that is it for Fox this Fall. On this weekend night you've got Fox Sports Saturday which could mean anything but it most likely means nothing.

Overall? Not too many shows that I'll definitely be watching. I think I'll give Minority Report a try. And I guess I'm going to grit my teeth and keep watching Gotham for a while longer. And I'll probably shame watch Sleepy Hollow a few times and see if there is anything there anymore. But that may be it.

Maybe that gif above represents more than just one of the world's funniest fails. Maybe it also represents Fox's attempt to entice me.

Better luck next time, Fox.

And to you, reader? Next time, we'll tackle NBC.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Fall TV Preview 2015--The CW

Here we are once again for another entry in the 2015 Fall TV Preview. If you need to catch up on the last few entries, click on the Page link at the top of the blog . . . the one labeled TV Preview Posts. It will give you access to all of the Fall TV posts I've written since WWYG?! went live in 2004. The most recent years are down at the bottom of the page.

And now, let's look at The CW.

In past years, I've written The CW late in my list of previews, because it usually provided a shorter list of shows. It is the "fifth"network, with the least amount of money and national coverage, it can't afford to offer a full slate of shows every single night. And that doesn't appear to be different this year either.


Case in point. On Sunday night, The CW gives us "Local Programming."
What's that, you wonder? I can't begin to guess.

Well, truthfully, I could go sit down in front of the TV right now and verify what local programming might be--since I'm drafting this on a Sunday night. But I think it is more fun to imagine what it might mean in your locality.

Maybe in the southwest, local programming is lots of Clint Eastwood western movies. And maybe in the Deep South it consists of reruns of The Andy Griffith Show? (Presumably, it is based on lots of regional stereotypes?) Why don't you weigh in down below in the comments and tell me what local programming looks like where you live and watch TV?


Two shows are provided by The CW on Monday. Returning is last year's successful show Jane the Virgin [returns 10/19 @ 9]. And the new show is called Crazy Ex Girlfriend [premieres 10/19 @ 8]. This new show is described as "A woman gives up her prestigious job and upscale Manhattan apartment to search for love in California."

And with that simple sentence, I'm immediately turned off and tired of the entire concept. Why don't you ever see a show about a crazy ex-boyfriend who gave up everything to chase after the girl that got away? How many shows have tried to tell that story? I mean, I guess parts of How I Met Your Mother showed some of that, but very few shows have been honest about the emotional problems that men have faced in the world of dating. It is always expected that women carry the burden of emotion and caring. Guys are shown as actually caring less about it all. Just give them a beer and a football game and they should be just fine, right?


All right. Here we go with some interesting programming!

First, we got season two of The Flash [returns 10/6 @ 8]. As you know from my post on CBS and the new show Supergirl, I'm a fan of the superhero TV genre. And I enjoyed the first season of The Flash quite a bit. I didn't know much about the mythology of the comics character before I started watching, but the good news is that you don't really need any prior knowledge. As long as you can accept the possibility that a weird combination of super-colliding atoms and some other weird "weather stuff" can alter someone's atoms and body enough to give him super speed, then . . . well, you are in. Just enjoy watching Barry The Flash Allen adjust to his new powers and hope that he can use those powers to simultaneously help the innocent while also trying to solve the mystery of his mother's death (when he was a boy, naturally) and also try to hide the truth with those that he loves (to keep them safe). It's all standard superhero stuff. But it's done well. And most importantly, the costume doesn't look awful. (Always an important consideration . . . really!)

Credit:; Just LOOK at this image. Wouldn't YOU want to know what is going on in a show with this sort of imagery?

What is the other show on Tuesday? iZombie [returns 10/6 @ 9]. I admit that I didn't watch the premiere season of this last year. But Lynda gave it a few watches and was favorably impressed with it. So I set my DVR to catch me up and I am ready for the second season to start. Since I am currently watching the unrelenting sadness that is both The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead, this show is a welcome antidote to that  sort of zombie show. iZombie has a good mix of the humor of Veronica Mars, twisted through the zombie angle and dusted with a bit of Dollhouse (the zombie main character taking on a bit of the characteristics of a new crime victim each week). If you like these sort of genre-heavy shows, you might want to give this returning show a try in its second season.


And here is the final wheel of my superhero tricycle--Supergirl, The Flash, and Arrow [returns 10/7 @ 8]. As I mentioned in my earlier post, Arrow can tend to get too broody and mopey--especially all of the second half of last season, when Oliver Queen (the Green Arrow of the comics) debated replacing Rás al Ghul. It was pretty overwhelming in its sadness and pretentiousness and I never really believed that it was going to happen. So, it was hard sledding to sit through so many episodes focused on something that I had little investment in.

 I promise you that you will NEVER see the actors on Arrow this happy during an episode.
It will be much, much more like this.
But Arrow can be a good show at times, when it lets go a bit of the world-saving pressure that Oliver puts on himself. When it focuses down on the relationships between the characters--which just happens to be occurring during a time of crime fighting and costumes--it can be fun to  watch. (As long as there is not THAT much time devoted to Laurel Lance. I really don't like that actress very much. either before or after she became the Black Canary.) I could definitely use more of Stephen Amell (Oliver) and Emily Bett Rickards (Felicity).

Other than more superheroes, The CW on Wednesday night also gives you Supernatural [returns 10/7 @ 9].


Have you watched The Vampire Diaries [returns 10/8 @ 8] or The Originals [returns 10/8 @ 9]? I have not. And I am someone who watched every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer PLUS Angel and I even tried to watch The Tomorrow People a few seasons back. Who does watch these shows? Maybe people who are tired of rereading Twilight novels or can't quite figure out how to combine their Anne Rice vampire fan fiction with that great idea for Speed Racer 2015?


And speaking of returning CW shows, how about Reign [returns 10/9 @ 8] and America's Next Top Model [returned 8/5] . . . so I guess I'm sorry that I didn't let you know in time for you to watch the most recent "cycle" of ANTM. My bad . . .

 I think that the best thing to be done with these shows is to combine them into a single program demanding that the fashion models only be photographed in medieval garb while the photo shoots center on things like winching up a drawbridge and putting a castle under siege.

Look, Game of Thrones handles medieval situations in sexy ways, so don't' tell me that it can't be done.


Do I even need to tell you what is featured on this day? Well, just in case you wondered, it isn't football, football, football.

Instead it is . . .

(Video courtesy of Hayward Fowler, proprietor of Tifton's own The Fun Channel.)

Next time? Let's take a look at Fox. See you then.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Football Counter-Programming 2015--Week 3

Welcome back to another week of asking you to consider something besides twenty-something dudes wearing fake armor and knocking each other down. It's another Saturday of Football Counter-Programming!

And, as always, here is another Log Lady Introduction to get us started.
This quote introduces the third broadcast of the show, if the Pilot episode has no number. The title of the episode is "Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer." In it, we meet Ben Horne's brother Jerry for the first time and discover how much they love to eat food. The Horne brothers also visit One-Eyed Jacks for the first time. Surly FBI Agent Albert Rosenfeld comes to town to aid with some forensic investigation. And, most importantly, Agent Cooper has his first significant dream sequence, going to see the Man from Another Place do his strange dance.

Everyone knows that there are fewer things more tedious than hearing someone else describe their dreams. But I really did have an interesting dream the other night. It was about . . . oh, darn. I honestly can't remember what it was about right now.

I guess you've dodged that bullet.

So, instead, I guess we should instead talk about . . . um . . . well . . . ?


Oh, okay. I'll talk about "saying hello."

How do you like to meet new people? Are you comfortable in a crowd of strangers? Are you always trying to get to know new people and learn more about them? Are you more standoffish, holding back to see if anyone comes up to you and engages you first?

I am much more the latter. If I was going to try and be cool about it, I'd say I was sizing up the room or something like that. But mostly I am anxious about what to say to people I don't know that well. And really, why is that? We all know the drill and we all know how to engage in introductory small talk.

  • Hi, my name is _____. Who are you?
  • Oh, and you are from _____? I've always wanted to visit there, but I haven't had the chance to get there yet. Maybe someday, right?
  • What do you do? Well, that sounds like an interesting job. What do you like about it? Huh. What got you interested in that field?
  • Me? Well, I'm a ______. Yeah, I know. Nobody ever thinks that is a job, but someone has to do it right?
  • How many kids do you have?/Do you have kids? Yes, those are my kids over there.
etcetera, etcetera, etcetera

It's all very inconsequential and light. (That is why it is called small talk after all.) We all know these basic things about ourselves, ready to deploy them as needed. If you have kids or watch any sports, you've already taken care of 15 to 20 minutes of chatting right there--with no effort.

So, why is it such a big deal? I should just boldly go up to anyone and let my details fly. I mean, I've got a blog that has been public for over a DECADE. I should just type the URL into their smart phone and let them start browsing. Imagine what they could learn about me!

How do you handle these types of introductory situations? What are the types of questions that you typically ask/are asked when you meet someone new? Do you have tips for what to do when engaging in social mingling? Flex your social skills in the comments below.

And, until next week . . . remember--

No one cares if your team has gone undefeated for the last thirty years against early season, in-state opponents.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Fall TV Preview 2015: Columbia Broadcasting System

Welcome back to my discussion of the 2015 new Fall TV season. Today we're going to examine the new shows on CBS.


But wait . . .

None of the shows on CBS Sunday night are brand new. 60 Minutes is still starting the night--being delayed by the NFL since your grandfather was raising his children and teaching them to distrust the Kennedys. The other entries for the Tiffany Network at the start of the week include Madam Secretary [returns 10/4 @ 8], The Good Wife [returns 10/4 @ 9], and CSI: Cyber [returns 10/4 @ 10]. All three are dramas, fronted by strong female characters. Perhaps this is CBS' own version of Football Counter-Programming, giving the ladies something that they might want after many weekend hours of football?


The new CBS show on at the beginning of your work week is called Life in Pieces [premieres 9/21 @ 8:30]. It's a family-based sit-com that tells its episodic stories by focusing individually on each family's point of view. I assume that the discrepancies between these POVs is the main source of the comedy of the show. This might get pretty gimmicky pretty fast, but I appreciate the concept. And the acting troupe includes Dianne Wiest, Josh Brolin, and Colin Hanks. So . . . it might work well if the writing is creative and doesn't rely too much on tired tropes.

The returning shows include The Big Bang Theory [returns 9/21 @ 8], Scorpion [returns 9/21 @ 9], and NCIS: Los Angeles [returns 9/21 @ 10]. Did any of you watch Scorpion last year when it was debuting? I never did, so I'm a bit curious about how well it did in its first season. And I am watching TBBT--even though everyone else dismisses it as very ordinary. But I'm invested in the characters and I just want to see how Penny and Leonard handle being married!


Maybe that Monday night serving of NCIS: Los Angeles has made you realize how much you like dramas about criminal investigation units? Well, then you will absolutely LOVE CBS Tuesday nights, because at 8, you can watch NCIS: Original Recipe [returns 9/22 @ 8] and then chase that down with NCIS: New Orleans [returns 9/22 @ 9]

Source:; note: not a link to an actual quiz

But I think that is waaay to much NCIS in my own life, so I have decided to give the new show Limitless [premieres 9/22 @ 10] a try. Yes, this show is based on the Bradley Cooper movie of the same name, and yes, the premise is about a guy that uses boutique pharmaceuticals to unlock more of his brain to grow smarter, more successful, and more in danger from criminals and the like. But Cooper is, I think, a producer on the show and will even appear in the pilot. So the idea must have his Hollywood blessing. I think it might be worth a DVR scheduling.


Now that you've gotten all of that Navy-based criminal investigation out of your system, what else is there to watch midweek?

How do you feel about yet another edition of Survivor? Because CBS is definitely interested in giving it to you [returns . . . again, 9/23 @ 8]. I am still amazed that this show is continuing to go strong--even when we've had this mini-renaissance of super high quality dramatic television in the last decade, stretching--as Alan Sepinwall has demonstrated--from The Shield through to LOST, Deadwood, The Sopranos, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and on. But most of those shows were on cable, so I guess the rationale is that mainstream networks still need the cheap costs of reality TV to help maintain the bottom line? I guess? (Or is the show still popular after all these years? And why is IT successful that all the other first year efforts, like FOX's bomb from last year, Utopia, never get any traction? Is it just familiarity and inertia--the same forces that keep Big Bang Theory going?)

But don't accuse CBS of just going with the familiar again and again mindlessly. Its new 10 pm drama--called Code Black [premieres 9/30 @ 10] is described on the Web site as "Doctors and nurses fight to save lives in the country's busiest ER."

Oh, wait . . . really? 

Come on.


Well, just when I was getting annoyed with CBS and my fingers were getting tired of typing . . . it serves up a gimme of a night. Because this night is only slotted with America's favorite past time--besides wondering what color hat Donald Trump will be wearing now . . .

Football, football, Thursday Night Football! All hail the football!

(In early November CBS will start showing actual shows on Thursday night again. Starting 11/5 @ 9 the football diminishes a bit and the shows Mom, Angel from Hell, and Elementary pop up in the schedule. Mom and Elementary are returning shows, but the other title is a new effort--about an advice-giving angel who is trying to help out a frazzled doctor in New York City. Jane Lynch plays the angel and Maggie Lawson plays the doctor.

(I don't know. . . but it feels sort weak to me. The only guardian angel I need in my viewing life is good ole Clarence.)


Well, if you're not in the mood for things you already know a lot about . . . then you're probably not going to be super interested in the end-of-the-week offerings from CBS. It is yet more shows that you've already heard of and for which you definitely already hold an opinion: The Amazing Race, Hawaii Five-O, and Blue Bloods. [All shows returning on 9/25 @ 8, 9, and 10.]

I guess I should be impressed with CBS methodical way of returning tested shows year after year, and seemingly all premiering that new night's worth of shows in a daily block. (Seriously, go check back through the days that I've outlined above and you'll see what I mean.) Charitably, I suppose it demonstrates a well-run network that had built up a good stable of solid programming. CBS is, I guess like the St. Louis Cardinal baseball team: dependable, predictable, and completely boring. But you grudgingly must acknowledge that it gets the job done year after year.



What even is there to talk about on Saturday, on a network that isn't devoted to football? I mean, maybe I should take back that half-hearted praise that I just laid down and instead question everything that CBS stands for. How unAmerican can it be . . . not to have pigskin on the weekend?

Instead, they have something scheduled that is called "Crimetime Saturday" with no explanatory Web link to help me figure out what is being planned. But I'm not too worried, because I'm pretty sure I remember SEC football games leaking into the early evening, dinner hours on Saturday night. So maybe CBS isn't run by a bunch of socialists after all.

(And then there is 48 Hours at 10 pm.)


But . . . really, all of that was just a very long prologue to the most important show CBS is actually premiering on October 26 @ 8:30--Supergirl.

I really hope that this show is going to be a good one. I find it interesting that Marvel has done so well translating their comic characters to the cinema in recent years, while DC (outside of Christopher Nolan/Christian Bale, of course) has "struggled". And I put that struggled in quotes advisedly . . . because the various Superman reboots have been successful, just not gargantuan. And, well, yes. Green Lantern was not well received. And--sure--I've grown disillusioned with a lot of what Gotham did last year. (Maybe more to dome on that later.) And, well, I guess DC is at fault for never getting any good Wonder Woman movies made yet--but then again, look at all the Black Widow problems the MCU just went through this summer. So maybe struggled should come out of quotation marks after all?

BUT . . . my main point is that DC hero properties have done well on the small screen. I like Arrow pretty strongly (though it does get a bit too dark and mopey at times) and The Flash is quite good and a good tonal contrast to Arrow. So . . . expectations for Supergirl are strong. I really hope the show is quality and that the story is engaging.

This new show might be the one I am most interested in--and its on CBS. Who knew? I guess I'm getting older than I think.

(Stay tuned for the next Fall TV Preview post in a few days. Let's continue this superhero vibe and look at The CW.)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Dean's Fall Cable TV Preview, 2015

It’s yet another edition of my Cable TV previews where I introduce all of the too-much TV that’s coming back or is brand new this year--that I care about.

This year I don’t care about Premium Cable, MTV, Lifetime, OWN, BET, VH1, or the Family Channels. You can’t make me care. I also didn’t include Netflix because I could find only 1 show premiering this fall (Narcos) and also I don’t have Netflix anymore. Also this year I asked the very funny and talented Good Cartoon Man to illustrate and he agreed, so now there are visuals!

[First, Dean . . . welcome back and thank you--as always--for lending your point of view to my TV previews. I always enjoy your thoughts on TV, even when we disagree. And I always enjoy the increased hit count when your many digifriends come over here to slum around in WWYG?! for a few minutes. (Please, Dean's friends, look at more content! I don't care!) BUT . . . NOT including Netflix shows in your Preview post? That is weak. Also, my oldest daughter will definitely have some words for you about not including Aziz Ansari's show Master of None (debuts 11/6, streaming). She loves that guy.

Not a good start.--DTM]


Fear the Walking Dead (AMC 9:00) Premiered August 23rd

So many people watched this premier so it’s silly for me to write about it. I don’t watch the Walking Dead shows because I don’t enjoy horror. However, I nearly made an exception to watch the exceptional Kim Dickens. Instead I began rewatching Deadwood. Deadwood is great.

The Walking Dead (AMC 9:00) Returns October 11th

Again, this show is so popular. You are probably watching it. It doesn’t have Kim Dickens so that is a point against it. Every show should have Kim Dickens.

[Every show? Really? So, Why? with Kim Dickens would be a good idea, then? Kim Dickens is . . . the Flash, perhaps? Or maybe she replaces Diggle on Arrow? Or . . . Kim Dickens is a zombie? Well, maybe give that last one a few weeks and we'll see. Then we'd TRULY never be able to get rid of her.]

Credit: Good Cartoon Man

Into the Badlands (AMC 10:00) Premiers November 15th

Into the Badlands is a genre-bending martial arts series very loosely based on the classic Chinese tale Journey to the West. In a land controlled by feudal barons, Into the Badlands tells the story of a great warrior and a young boy who embark on a journey across a dangerous land to find enlightenment. I stole that paragraph verbatim from AMCs Web site because I know nothing about this show. I’ve seen zero previews or anything. That paragraph makes it sound great though. Probably doesn’t star Kim Dickens, however. (This is my last reference to Ms. Dickens I promise.)

[You noted on Twitter a week ago that you should have mentioned here that Into the Badlands is by the Smallville guys. So, that is now taken care of. And I think I'll try this show at least for a few episodes to see if it lives up to that tag line.]


The Daily Show With Trevor Noah (Comedy Central 11:00) Returns/Premiers September 28th

My mother always said if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all. I often ignore my mother’s advice. If you enjoy jerks condescending to you by saying things you already believe and then giving a “wry” smile you’ll probably enjoy Trevor Noah doing what John Stewart used to do. Or just watch John Oliver. Whatever, it’s all the same.

[I added the hyperlink, not Dean.]

Fargo (FX 10:PM) Returns Monday October 12th

Throw another shrimp on the Barbie, Fargo is back! Wait, sorry, wrong stereotypical saying. Fargo is about crime in the Upper Midwest dontcha know? This season has Kristen Dunst and Landry! I hope Landry doesn’t kill anyone. Stop killing people, Landry! We love you. Texas forever!

[Do you spell Barbie like the doll--with a capital B? Is that right? I was going to look that up, but then I got distracted by the mention of Kirsten Dunst. And I'm a pretty simple guy, okay?

Um . . . what was that about Landry?]


Drunk History (Comedy Central 10:30) Returned September 1st

*hic* So, thiz show, you see . . . this, this show. There’s a lot of co . . . comedians. And they tell a stor . . .they, they tell a story. But they . . . are . . . drunk. And John Hamm plays the other parts. John Hamm ish ver funny.

[John Hamm sometimes plays the other parts. Derek Waters plays all the parts. It's a fun show, for sure.]

The Bastard Executioner (FX 10:00) Premiers September 15th

Kurt Sutter will do his best to shock you with how extreme and edgy he is. The story will fall apart after 2 seasons, but the first two will probably be pretty great. I wish he would team up with Shawn Ryan again.

[But what is this show about, huh? Who is a bastard? Who is being executed? Are the executions being performed with a bastard sword? How many swings might that take? And . . . um . . . uh . . . oh, wow. Sorry. I was looking at Kirsten Dunst again.]

Manhattan (WGN America) Returns October 13th

This is a show that exists about the making of the atomic bomb. It is not set in Manhattan. They should have called it Manhattan Project because I think people are confused by the title. It is not as confusing as Humans being about robots and Mr. Robot being about humans, but it is still confusing. It is a good show, but not a great show so I probably should stop writing about it now.

Credit: Good Cartoon Man [If, for some reason you don't know what this is about . . . go here first and then search for the remix song.]

The League (FXX 10:00) Returns September 9th

If nothing else The League has brought the world the knowledge that Nick Kroll looks like he should be Jeff Goldblum’s son. Nick Kroll’s father is actually a billionaire corporate investigator. Not Jeff Goldblum unfortunately.

You’re the Worst (FXX 10:30) Returns September 9th

This was my favorite show of last year so of course they move it to the lesser known of FX Networks channels and premier it after Married, a show that it is far superior to. Watch You’re the Worst.

[I agree that You're the Worst is great. But isn't Married also featuring John Hodgman? Or am I mixing that up with another FX show? Or do you not like Hodgman because he has the stink of John Stewart all over him?]

South Park (Comedy Central 10:00) Returns September 16th

I say this every year, but much like The Simpsons, South Park is a dumb show to preview because it’s been on forever. Both have fallen from their peaks, but new South Park is better than new Simpsons.

Moonbeam City (Comedy Central 10:30) Premiers September 16th

Evidently this is a cartoon starring Rob Lowe and Elizabeth Banks that is a parody of Miami Vice. I know nothing about this so here is a cartoon of Rob Lowe by Good Cartoon Man. He wants you to know it’s a parody of the Direct TV commercials. He was concerned you wouldn’t get it.

Credit: Good Cartoon Man

American Horror Story: Hotel (FX 10:00) Returns October 7th

This season of America Horror Story has Lady Gaga. She will be defending the horrible ghosts or whatever of the hotel by telling people that they were born that way.

[Are you even trying to discuss the content of these shows? I think Good Cartoon Man's concept of good has infected your quality a bit. Everyone, I apologize for Dean's lack of substance and kindly request that you scroll back upward to take another look at Kirsten Dunst.]


Documentary Now! (IFC 10:00) Premiered August 20th

If you like documentaries, you’ll probably like Fred Armison and Bill Hader’s mockumentary series. If you don’t like documentaries you should probably stay away.

Nathan For You (Comedy Central 10:00) Returns October 15th

Nathan Fielder will save your struggling business by coming up with terrible ideas. If you like cringe comedy, this is one of the cringiest. (I mean it’s no The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret but thankfully, I doubt we’ll ever see its like again.)


Red Oaks (Amazon Prime) Premiers October 9th

I’m very excited about Red Oaks. Get Amazon Prime and watch Red Oaks. The pilot was very funny and now you can download all Amazon Prime shows to watch later, so if you’re in the car . . . you don’t have to use wireless data. Anyway, watch Red Oaks because it made me laugh and the world needs laughter.

[ . . . or gifs of kissing people . . .]

The Man in the High Castle (Amazon Prime) Premiers November 20th This is an Amazon Prime show that is not funny because it has Nazis. Everyone knows Nazis ceased to be funny after Hogan’s Heroes. [ . . . again, I added the link, assuming that not everyone who reads this blog is over 40 or might have a subscription to TV Land.] Also in this show, they won World War II and divided America in half and Japan rules the other half. The pilot for this was also very good. Anywhere, here is Good Cartoon Man and I should probably apologize for him now.

Credit: Good Cartoon Man

Transparent (Amazon Prime) Returns December 4th

I did not like this show because it was full of unlikeable people and that stressed me out. Many people did like it. If you watch one show about a transgender person, it should probably be this one and not Caitlin Jenner’s show. Reality TV is bad. Also Caitlin Jenner killed someone. I don’t think Jeffrey Tambor has killed anyone.

[Wait, for real? Who did Caitlin Jenner kill? Are you serious? I'm very confused and I guess I need to watch less TV and learn about the world. Well, damn. That is unfortunate.]


Football. Always Football. Every channel. Only football. Obey football.

Credit: Good Cartoon Man
[Whew. Thanks for a bit of light-heartedness to ease the tension Good Cartoon Man. I can always count on you to bring some humor to the important, tension-filled news of the day. 
And thank you Dean for guest blogging again. Anytime you've got something to say, please drop me some content. You always have a home here on WWYG?!]

And, since I put a lot of stuff about Kirsten Dunst kissing in this post, let me finish my interjections by saying that I don't want to assume that everyone who reads this is straight . . . so here are other gifs of love in action. ]

[Love is love, everybody! More television-related love is on its way in upcoming posts.]

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Football Counter-Programming 2015--Week 2


Welcome back everyone! How is your football team doing so far today?

Oh wait . . . that's not at all what this is about. We're here to avoid discussion of college football and see what other odd things might be of interest on a Saturday in September. Here's hoping that you have had a good week and are finding time to relax in some way.

Me? I'm enjoying the cool breezes and hanging out in the backyard with Hannah  Sarah is at a friends house. Grace is nerding out to a good movie . . . and Lynda is celebrating her cousins wedding in Alabama. (I assume she won't be thinking about football at all today.)

Last week, we talked a bit about Twin Peaks and I used the Log Lady Introductions to randomize some topics and provide a point of discussion. But what did she have to say for the very first regular episode, "Traces to Nowhere"?

Clearly, the Log Lady is talking about her own personal love of Batman, who is the world's greatest detective. And why not? Outside of Superman and Wonder Woman, has any other superhero comic book figure had a larger impact on the publishing industry or the culture in general?

Batman also carries his own log--a log of regret and sadness that he has twisted into obsession and a completely unwinnable war on crime, inequality, and human suffering. He has dedicated his limitless fortunes  to perfecting his city and I think that we all know perfection to be unattainable.

Do you think that he could possibly win this unending war? Well, someone more versed in the subject that I certainly has thought about it a lot, so I'll provide a link to that longish essay about his thoughts. And, if you are interested, then he also has thought about Batman versus Harry Potter and also, oddly . . . Batman punching animals.

(I guess when you're Batman and you are the best, you can get away with punching anything you want.)

But maybe you think Batman is funny? (Just as the Log Lady worries that her wooden companion might be funny to you.) Do you think an adult man dressing up as a flying rodent is ridiculous and childish?

My question to you then, is, how would YOU fight crime in your hometown?

Would you happily accept higher taxes to fund social and educational programs to educate and improve the poor away from the choices that poverty might drive them towards? Would you support the police in your town by participating in a neighborhood watch program? Would you volunteer your time and talents towards social and community events, homework and tutoring services for children and adults? Would you bring food and visit prisoners to encourage them to try and build a better life for themselves? Would you buy a gun to protect yourself? There are many choices available to you--none of which actually involve fighting the crime yourself. But you might have to fight the sources of crime.

What do you think is the best choice for your non-vigilante world? Leave ideas in the comments and tell me what YOU think is a good plan.

And also let me know why Batman is the best.

Until next week . . . same Bat Time; same Bat Channel.

Fall TV Previews, 2015: American Broadcasting Company

[It was pretty hot outside when I first sat down to write this. (It was Labor Day weekend.) And that signaled the approach of the Fall: that time of sweaters, leaves, pumpkin-spice everything . . . and the return of new Fall TV shows.]

Dean and I have teamed up again this year to break down the shows that you should watch. Dean has written an overview of Cable TV and, as usual, I am going to examine the main networks, starting with ABC.


It is a remarkable truth that the first hour of ABC's Sunday schedule is still devoted to America's Funniest Home Videos. I would have thought that YouTube had eliminated the insatiable need for Americans to see other Americans fall on their faces. But maybe this simply signals the continuing influence of Baby Boomers. They are not yet comfortable on YouTube, so they demand their video pratfalls in the usual way. And since most of Sunday is devoted to football anyway, why not begin the night with the visual equivalent of warm mashed potatoes with a big pat of melting butter?

My daughter Grace is very happy about the return of Once Upon a Time (returning, 9/27 @ 8). She started late, but caught up on Netflix and then watched last season live. As the name suggests, the show is about fairy tales--but twisted into modern settings. And sometimes the characters you remember from childhood have been changed slightly for this show. But Grace likes it. Maybe you've got a pre-teen or a Disney lover in your house that needs something to do on Sunday night?

The other two shows on ABC Sunday night are Blood & Oil (premieres 9/27 @9) and Quantico (premieres 9/27 @ 10). Blood & Oil's big draw seems to be the presence of Don Johnson. The show is described thusly: "Two working-class men lock horns with a ruthless tycoon while striving to cash in on the North Dakota oil boom." I assume that Johnson is the tycoon because I think he is now too old to be locking horns with anyone without the possibility of endangering a broken hip. But this shows sounds kind of ordinary, so let's see what Quantico is about--"The story of FBI trainees at the FBI academy in Quantico, VA, one of whom is a sleeper agent who will engineer a major terror attack on the U.S." 

Now, this sounds more interesting. It has got procedural elements of cop shows, it features everyone's favorite topic of disagreement--the government, it shows young people learning, and it mixes in everyone's favorite dramatic plot element . . . terror attacks. It seems like it might have some potential. (Click on this link to go check out its trailer and decide for yourself.)


Um . . . well, There is nothing on this day that is at all new. Dancing with the Stars (returns 9/14 @ 8) takes up a huge block of time and the night is wrapped up with Castle (returning 9/21 @ 10). Football, football, football rules the day!


Remember back on Sunday, when I speculated that America's Funniest Home Videos was still going because of Baby Boomers? Well, how about the premiere of The Muppets (premieres 9/22 @ 8), back in Prime Time television? Thanks to Jason Segel--who helped resurrect the movie version of the Muppets a few years back, and with the financial backing of owner Disney, your favorite felt fellows are back again. But this time the Muppet show takes some inspiration from The Office and other mockumentary series, following Kermit, Mrs. Piggy, and the rest of the gang away from whatever variety show they might be cooking up this time and chasing a bit of their home lives as well.

You know this will feature lots of cross over hits from other ABC stars--see the show's Twitter feed as evidence. But I'm not mad. A world with more Muppets is not a bad world.

There are no other brand new shows on this night for ABC. Fresh Off the Boat (returns 9/22 @ 8:30) debuted last year to good reviews. I haven't watched lots of sit-coms in recent years, but I guess this one is okay. (Though I do remember having a knee-jerk reaction--which I probably wrote--that it would traffic too much on Asian stereotypes. But . . . I guess it does that will skill?) But on this night I'm more invested in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (returns 9/29 @ 9) that anything else. The quality of the show has definitely had its ups-and-downs. But I'm a sucker for deep mythology and interconnectedness, so I've been involved in the MCU for a while now.


Midweek on America's network are lots and lots of sit-coms. But I really enjoyed black-ish (returns 9/23 @ 9:30) last year--even though I definitely dismissed it in my Preview column for 2014. (Sorry . . . but I was assuming, as I did with Fresh Off the Boat, that it would employ tired stereotypes.) However, the show is sharply written, and the characters are fun and inventive and even sometimes going against the stereotype. So, I guess I was the one with the problem. I look forward to another strong season from the writing team and I hope they work more of Lawrence Fishburne into the show this coming season. I realize he has other things going on, but I really enjoyed the dynamic between him and Anthony Anderson's Dre.

Other ABC shows on this day are all returning from past years--The Middle, The Goldbergs, Modern Family, and Nashville. (You can see what nights they return with this handy calendar.) I've never watched any of these shows, so I'll leave it up to anyone in the comments who might want to toss in some opinions on how good these shows are? (I know that Dean likes The Goldbergs, at least . . . so maybe he would have something to say?)


As with Wednesday, this day is full of returning shows . . . but the focus shifts from sit-coms to dramas: Gray's Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder. As I've said previously in this space . . . how is it that Gray's is STILL going strong? (Or maybe not strong . . . but it is definitely still going.) How many years is it now? I don't know, but it feels so long that I kinda think the cast should look more this the image on the right . . . amirite?

I guess Gray's is the new CSI or the old Law & Order--an institution that just swaps in and out actors and themes as needed to fill a time slot year after year after year. NBC must look at this show and just wonder "What is that like? To have a show that just keeps going all the time and you just assume its going to be there like the sun coming up every day. But . . . not like Community, the show you tried to kill but it is like a zombie that just keeps getting up and dragging itself towards you again and again, relentlessly stalking you until you put a Yahoo-shaped bullet in its brain." And then NBC is sad and wishes that it had successful zombie series to make money. (And I hope--without doing any research--that NBC doesn't own AMC or anything obvious like that.)

BUT . . . we're talking about ABC, not NBC!


At the end of the work week, ABC has one new show, called Dr. Ken (premieres 10/2 @ 8:30). It is described  by the network as "An accomplished physician tries to balance his career and a hectic family life with two kids and a wife." 

And my initial reaction was to yawn and say "Next. . . " But then I looked at the cast. Ken Jeong (hey, speaking of Community!) and Dave Foley make me at least and pause to say "Go on . . ." But will Dr. Ken allow Jeong--who has always lived off his off-kilter manic skills to be something more grounded? And if so, will people want to see him doing that? Maybe he'll be a bit more acerbic, like Dr. House . . .  but with a bit of speedball mixed in? I assume it'll be something like that right--geniusy-type who is always pissing people off, but they put up with it because he's always brilliant and right? (Kind of a mainstream, Asian-inflected Sherlock Holmes? I want to make some sort of pun here on that idea, but I'm not sure how without being terrible at it. If YOU want to suggest something, the comments are just below, so be my guest.)

And . . . well, that's it for ABC. Saturday is all devoted to college football, so there is nothing you need to know there . . . except for this:

And though you might not know what that means as of this reading, you WILL know what that means tomorrow. Because Dean has also written HIS Cable Preview for the Fall, and he asked Good Cartoon Man to illustrate his post with similar quality, "good" cartoons.

Don't know who Good Cartoon Man might be? Then check out his Web site. If you like what you see, TELL HIM and maybe he'll get back to posting more often.

But, enough teasing. Dean's contribution will go up tomorrow and the rest of my posts will be following soon.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Fourteen Years Later

You might take a look at this and immediately think it is inappropriate. And I can't change how you think. But, in an unrelated think this morning, I rewatched this clip from my favorite song on Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. And the dual points of view about the world that is portrayed here made me think about this day and fourteen years ago.

Life is hard for a lot of people around the world, and some people choose to fight against that hardship with anger and hatred and fear. Others see the hardship and try to help and try to get other people to help.

My life is great--obscenely so in comparison. So I should try MORE to help others. And I should fight against hatred. Because that is the wrong response to problems. If more people were willing to reach out and aid with love, then there would be less hatred and fear in the world.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Football Counter-Programming 2015--Week 1

You may remember from a recent post that Sarah and I are watching Twin Peaks. And you might also realize (if you are looking at your social media feeds today) that college football season has started again. And you might further remember that last football season, I posted counter-programming WWYG?! posts each Saturday afternoon to break up the endless football talk and give the curious something else to think about each Saturday.

And so, I'm at it once more--casting about for things to say that might be diverting and (slightly) interesting. So, to honor the Twin Peaks watching and hoping that it is an interesting set of topics, I am going to rely on the Log Lady Introductions as an idea generator.

What are the Log Lady Introductions? On Twin Peaks, one of the townspeople was known as the Log Lady. She popped up here and there, always carrying a log of wood. She claimed that it had various types of awareness and that she could talk to it and it could talk to her. She invited Agent Cooper to speak to the log in the pilot episode, but Cooper declined. (The Log Lady insisted that her log had something to say about the murder of Laura Palmer.)

When the show originally aired in Prime Time on ABC back in 1989 and 1990, there were no Log Lady Introductions. But David Lynch did film these short cryptic prefaces, intending them to accompany the show in International and syndicated broadcasts. They are provided on the DVD, so Sarah and I are watching them and trying to puzzle out their meaning. I don't mean to try and connect the Log Lady's words to a meaning of the show on the Football Counter-Programming posts, but rather to see if I can use her words to move me into other realms of thought and creativity. (By the way, these intros are taken from this Web site.)

Let's get started. (And I'll try to write this one as much off the top of my head as I can. No guarantees that it will be like this each week.)

This is an introduction--fairly straightforward. Basic information that sets you up with a person's identify and location. But very quickly Margaret shifts from the specific to the cryptic. She invites you to learn more about her, but she is not willing to volunteer that information. She is holding back the truth about herself, though she hints at some of the things that demonstrate her true identify.

We do this. We introduce ourselves, but only the part of ourselves that we want to define us. We hold back information deep inside that illuminates as much of who we are as anything we actually reveal to strangers and even to friends. We are reluctant to truly share ourselves--our truest, most honest selves. Do we tell the truth with those we love and trust the most? Maybe some of us do, but I bet that most of us do not. There are always secrets within that we are ashamed of or maybe we don't even realize that we are holding something back.

And if we did share our most intimate selves, how would others react? Happily? With caution? With fear or even rejection? But shouldn't we TRY to be more forthcoming with others? Shouldn't we try to be more honest--especially with those who are supposed to know us best? 

Sometimes I am not as honest as I should be because I am trying to go along and get along. I don't confront hypocrisy and bad judgment (either in others or--most especially--in myself) because I don't want to cause trouble. But the inescapable fact of being an adult and being responsible for others or being in a leadership position is the requirement and the expectation to sometimes call people on their weakness--either to protect the integrity of the project or the organization OR to simply try and make someone better than who they currently are.

Being that honest is not easy and it is often taken negatively by others. But it is something that maybe I should try to do more often, so that I can be a better person. And I know it is hard, because we live in a very superficial world. We hide behind our screens and keyboards, passing judgment on other in our minds without really calling them out in public. And when we are in social or public situations, we are focused on group cooperation or keeping the peace or just keeping going . . . for whatever our reasons might be.

So . . . I'm gong to try and be more truthful and honest--a bit at a time. Will you try and do it as well? 

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

My Log Has Something to Say About This: Twin Peaks . . . again

 So . . . this began over the weekend. And you know that I was happy to oblige, as watching Twin Peaks was a defining moment in my high school life.

I'm happy to report that things are going well. We've watched four episodes so far--which takes us approximately this far in the story:

  • Laura Palmer's body is found by Pete Martell near the Packard Mill.
  • We get reactions from all of the main players/story characters in town.
  • FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper arrives in Twin Peaks to investigate the murder and connect any possibly similarities to a previous murder in a different location. He also ties in the abduction and escape of Ronette Pulaski. Cooper's ongoing investigation reveals that Ronette was kidnapped along with Laura and was in danger of being murdered as well. There appears to be some connection between the perfume counter at Horne's Department Store (where Ronette and Laura worked) and working at the Canadian brothel One-Eyed Jack's.
  • Agent Cooper has revealed that a.) he is deeply enamored with Twin Peaks and its citizens and b.) he is very comfortable using non-standard investigatory procedures to solve crimes. For instance, in episode three he reveals to the TP police department that he is swayed by dreams and mystical practices of Tibetan monks. (At the end of that same third episode, he experiences his first dream visit to the Red Room and sees the dancing man from another place. He also first learns of Mike, the one-armed man and his murderous friend, Bob.)
  • Laura's body is buried in episode four and Leland Palmer's mental state continues to decline. He throws himself on Laura's coffin and later pleads with someone to dance with him at the Roadhouse dance hall.
  • Cooper is also introduced to the presence of the Bookhouse Boys (so far shown to be Sheriff Truman, Deputy Hawk, Big Ed Hurley, James Hurley, and Joey Paulson. Cooper is warned by the Bookhouse Boys that Twin Peaks owes much of its idyllic nature to the countervailing presence of some sort of evil out in the woods.
  • Bobby--Laura's former boyfriend and all around bad boy--is just generally acting like a jerk all around town. He seems very committed to being a complete HS stereotype of a bad-boy . . . but he doesn't quite know how to pull it off.
  • The Bookhouse Boys also tell Cooper about the drug-running that is taking place across the Canadian border, through One-Eyed Jacks. This is being facilitated by Jacques Renault and his gang. More to come on that later.
Sarah has taken to the show in good faith. I was concerned that the slow pace of the scenes and each individual episode would be too much for her.* And she seems to be really like the odd quirkiness of the characters.

There are still many episodes to go in the (good) first season and then the (disappointing) second season. And we haven't seen much of Bob yet. (I am afraid of how she'll react to some of the upcoming Bob stuff--some of which is a bit intense.) But I am enjoying watchng the show again as well.

It is hard to get back to the headspace I was in in 1989 and 1990 when this show meant everything to me. Television is so very different now and the variety of voices and styles is so much greater now than then. So I intellectually understand how radically Twin Peaks stood out to me then. It is much harder to accomplish that today. Even as a fan, I see the limitations of the acting and am frustrated by the glacial plotting of the show as it was back then.

Just don't expect me to recap every episode. Because you know how THAT would turn out.

* I was also wondering if she might be terribly confused by the intense melodrama surrounding Laura's death. The characters do seem to lose their shit over her death really fast. (Sarah noted that Laura seemed to be the only thing holding these people together.) And I thought she might be confused by that because she has--unfortunately--lived her formative years in a time of increased mass shootings and teenage deaths. I thought she wouldn't understand what all the fuss was about?

What I didn't consider was that this melodrama was Lynch's style for the show. He wanted this to be very soap opera-y . . . at least in some of these early episodes. As a parent, I was trying to interpret how my child's lifestyle might affect her interpretation of something. I should have thought like a media critic and discussed the collective vision of the artist.

And it probably shouldn't matter anyway. She spent some of her early childhood years watching Disney Channel and other "kids" shows that seemed to specialize in 1000% personalities that emoted through lots of shouting. That is pretty Lynchian.