Friday, December 23, 2016

Star Wars Watch Order Adjustment (and a minor irritation)

A few years ago, I proposed a new way to watch the Star Wars sextet. You can read about my theory on the best way to watch Episodes I-VI here.

Of course, that needs to be updated now--given that we must now add Episode VII and Rogue One (Episode III.75?). I won't get into all of the twists and turns THAT MUCH. You can probably plug in the necessary new movies yourself. But I would suggest:

But that isn't really why I'm here today typing this instead of trying to correlate TWE activities to state standards.As I've watched the Star Wars movies recently, in preparation for the release of Rogue One, I've noticed a bothersome trend. Maybe it can be best illustrated by this early concept illustration made during the development of the original Star Wars movie back in the 1970s (now the second in sequence in my revised watch list above).

It's a great picture that really emphasizes the sweeping landscape and alien-ness of Tattoine. You can see Luke with his Landspeeder, surveying what is presumably Mos Eisley from a distance. But it's SUCH a distance. Yes, he does have space binoculars, but WHY does he have to be so far away? Maybe there is much more low-ground glare on account of the two suns? Maybe he doesn't want to get TOO close to such a hive of scum and villainy? 

But whatever the case, this (somehow?) established a pattern in the minds of the film-makers that they continued to this day. The habit is parking your space ship waaaaaay too far away from the place you actually traveled all that way (with hyperspace!) to actually get to.i

I believe this is a scene from Ep. II: Attack of the Clones (judging by the billowy cloak that I think grown-up/pre-evil padawan Anakin wore). But this might not be the correct Naboo ship that Amidala used in Ep. II? I think it was a smaller sleeker version . . . or what that one used in Ep. III: Revenge of the Sith?

This is a scene from the beginning of Ep. VII: The Force Awakens. It doesn't exactly capture Rey parking her bike on the edges of the Jakku trading settlement--which I know happened in the film. But I couldn't find that screenshot. Hopefully this image will remind you?

This is a scene which I believe is near the beginning of Rogue One. Since this movie is very new, I definitely could not get the screenshot I wanted of Director Crennik (the dude with the white cape) landing his ship on the planet where young Jyn lives. I can't say much more without verging into spoiler territory--they steal plans that help the Rebel Alliance blow up the Death Star!--but trust me when I tell you that the dude with the white cape parks his tri-winged Imperial issue transport many hundreds of yards away from the lone settlement out in the middle of nowhere and then has to trudge through the blasted out black sand/rock terrain to finally achieve the face-to-face with the guy he's flown there to intimidate. (All that walking has got to be murder of the trailing hem of his impressive cape, no?)

Are you getting my point?
IS there even a point?

Is there some sort of unwritten (or possibly Imperially-written) rule that prevents ion-engine backwash within 100 yards of some downtrodden citizen's backyard? Or have the cinematographers simply fallen in love with the sweeping vistas and thrown all common sense out like a Star Destroyer jettisons its trash before hitting the hyperdrive?

Friday, December 16, 2016

Dean's Best Shows of 2016

Welcome to Dean’s Best TV of 2016 Spectacular. Here are I will tell you the best 10 shows of the year. This list is definitive and all other lists are false. I’m sure David will insert editorial comments but I must assure you not to pay attention to them because this is the only information you need.

Honorable Mentions: Every year I cheat and list more than 10 shows because I watch too much TV and I want to call out the very good shows that did not quite make the cut. This year’s honorees are: Galavant, Pitch, Mozart in the Jungle, Orange is the New Black, Venture Brothers, Silicon Valley, and The Chris Gethard Show (There is an episode where the audience just tries to guess what is in a dumpster. It was amazing.) Congratulations shows, you made a list!

[Re. this list . . . I am trying to record Pitch and will see if I like it at some later point. Galavant is a stupid premise and you have made a bad recommendation.--David]

10. The Good Place
Who wouldn’t want to live in a heaven run by Ted Danson? Also I’m clearly destined for the Good Place as a faithful Brown’s fan. I should also note for the record that Fake Eleanor is clearly the better Eleanor.

9. You, Me and the Apocalypse
I’m going to be completely honest. The only reason this show is ranked so high is because its intro is so good. Every time I heard Johnny Nash start singing “I can see clearly now the rain has gone” I got excited to watch this show. I wish other people had been as excited as me as no one watched it and now this show is gone forever. 

[Not true that no one watched it. I watched it all summer. And then promptly and completely forgot about it and looking back I'm not so sad about that. I think that I was driven to watch because I had just finished binging Parks and Recreation and I was sad and missing Ron and Tammy.--David]

8. Gravity Falls

This is a show for kids but also a show for people who are amateur cryptographers. Here is a page from the wiki for this show for children:
I solved zero of these cryptograms. This show only lasted two seasons and although it makes me sad (because it was good!), I’m also happy about the current trend of shows going out when the creators want it to rather than dragging them out until they’re no longer profitable to make and I’m actively hate-watching something that used to fill me with joy (looking at you Sleepy Hollow).

[Gravity Falls was good. I enjoyed it. But Season 1 was so much better. But the same could have been said for Sleepy Hollow as well, I guess.--David]

7. iZombie
This show is written by Rob Thomas (no . . . NOT that one) and in the last episodes Rob Thomas (yes that one) was eaten by zombies and then the zombies sang "Unwell" because they took on his personality. This is comedy gold. Gold! 
Anyway, if you only watch one zombie-themed show this year make it iZombie because The Walking Dead is bad. You can also watch Ash vs. the Evil Dead if you have Starz. I do not have Starz.

[I also like iZombie--as I've said in this space before. But I admit that I surf my phone while it is on as much as I am actively engaged in the experience of watching the show. I also strongly agree with your opinion that The Walking Dead is bad. My theory? It started getting bad when Rick's group left Georgia. And the it got really bad when the creators and writers screwed over the viewing audience by violating whatever "rules" they had in place by idiotically NOT killing a major character when it was the only reasonable outcome.--David]

6. Baskets
Louie Anderson plays Zach Galifinakuses’s (I was going to look up the spelling but no. This is fine. I am a professional.) mom and he plays it perfectly straight. Louie Anderson should be typecast from this point forward as a mom. Look at this photo of him. I have met this mom before.

5. Better Call Saul
Does Jimmy have to become Saul Goodman? Really? Couldn’t this be an alternate timeline where everything works out for good old Jimmy? No? That is a shame. Oh I guess also watch this show or whatever. It’s really good. Also Jimmy’s brother is the worst.

[Why did I leave this show off of my list completely? Bad job by me.--David]

4. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Look, I like musicals. My favorite episodes of TV are musical episodes. If you don’t like people singing their feelings you are a) possibly a robot and b) reading the wrong end of the year list. This is a good show and it will win a bunch of awards so I don’t need to defend myself to you people.

[You SHOULD have to defend yourself. That is why I give you a platform on my highly valuable blogging platform. And while we got like CE-G, you like it more strenuously than I and I must call you out on that. Poor ranking choice.--David]

3. Rectify
I’m not really sure how to convince people to watch this show because every description ends up being “Well, there’s not really a lot of plot, it’s more about tone and sense of place” and man, does that sound boring. But it’s not! It is perfect. It is the perfect show which is why it is the third best show of the year.

[Your tonal description of this show you won't ever quit matches some of the weaker episodes of Westworld. Maybe it's the cowboy hats?--David]

2. The Americans
I don’t know many shows that could kill a beloved character off and come out stronger for it, but The Americans did it. RIP Nina Sergeevna Krilova. You will be missed.

[First, HOW DARE YOU try to turn Nina into Barb? And also, you are not going to sit there and type at me that Nina is more of a loss than the dearly exiled Martha!??! What will be next? Trying to convince me that the brutal dissection of Mail Robot was less shocking than the fenestration of Agent Gaad?
The Americans is the show that is going to tear us apart.--David]

1. One Mississippi
Every episode of this show made it extremely dusty in my house and it is also very funny and not in the independent comedy way where you sort of smile at a wry “joke”, but actually laugh out loud funny. I also need to note that John Rothman put on my favorite performance of the year (narrowly edging out Louie Anderson). Please watch it so I can talk to someone about it? Please? I’ll even come to your house to watch it with you. You should have Amazon Prime anyway now that Amazon runs the planet.

[Are you making up television? Is this a sickness of Peak TV? Does this show even exist? What a sad way to end your Best of . . . list. But its okay viewers. Move your eyes up a bit and reread that previous parenthetical I wrote about The Americans.. That was really funny and well crafted. Go read that again and we can all pretend that Dean's list ended with The Americans. Which would have been a fine choice.--David]


If you liked this, go check out MY version of this year's best TV shows. Maybe Dean will have some biting comments to say about my opinions and rankings.

David's Best Shows of 2016

A few weeks ago Dean reminded me that it is time for our annual Best of TV posts. And I enthusiastically agreed as Dean and I like few things more than talking about television. Unfortunately, as you will see between this post and Dean's we are frequently (and this year more than most) talking about two very different TV experiences.

But don't worry. 

All you need to do is remember that I am right and (most of the time) Dean is wrong.

So, without any more set up or preamble, here are my Top 10 Shows of 2016! (And, YES . . . breaking with my usual tradition, I will be ranking them in reverse order this year, rather than in no particular order at all.)

Let's start with the one's that didn't make the cut in my list of Ten Best. Naturally, these are all great shows. But I had to wield the knife somewhere and this is where I started. As you can see in my actual list, I focused on shows that were new (and in at least one instance, shows that were new to me). You don't have to like it. After all, nobody is paying me to write this stuff.

But enough again. On with the show . . .

Game of Thrones is always good. And the 2016 season was really great in lots of ways. It broke free from the books and didn't miss anything. But GoT definitely doesn't need my help or promotional hype. I'll set it here in the Great Job area. [It was fine.--Dean]

Similarly, The Americans had another very good year. And while it DOES need everyone's help and hype, I have learned in November that I cannot make a difference in this nation. So, you go ahead and ignore The Americans if you want. You'll never know what might happen next with the most mysterious character on TV--Henry Jennings. [This not making your top 10 is monstrous. You're a real Paige.--Dean]

I'm not ranking Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt because it just didn't grab my attention in the same way that season 1 did. I liked it but it wasn't memorable to me. [Agreed.--Dean]

Similarly, I think Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is still good but not as good as its first offering. I think they really did spend all of their budget on that Love Kernels cactus video because things have seem diminished recently. I laugh more during black -ish than any recent episodes of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. [I miss Greg. Crazy Ex was ranked so high on my list more from last season's offerings. (Which were still within the 2016 calendar year!) than this season.--Dean]

[Side note: I reluctantly could not find a way to fit in black -ish again this year. I have always liked this show. The return of Charlie helped a lot this season. He is to black-ish as Winston is to New Girl. Also the funny performance of Daveed Diggs helping me forget the many absences of Lawrence Fishburne.] [This is also a good show. Charlie is a necessary and vital part of the cast.--Dean]

Black Mirror--I just finished all of the Netflix episodes this afternoon and I can say that I really liked this series. My only regret? Sarah beat me to a Wicker Man reference in regards to the final episode "Hated in the Nation". [NOT THE BEES!--Dean]

Finally in my Super High Quality Also-Ran category is everyone's first season darling--Mr. Robot. Frankly, I spent lots of time this season being confused. The show is really well done, but is often just a muddled mess. [Stop making me agree with you. What is wrong with you?--Dean]

On to the Ranked Contenders!

Number 10 ARCHER
I binge watched Archer during the summer and early fall and found it to be really, really, really good. Now technically, I didn't watch the show while it was live in 2016, so maybe I'm bending the rules here. But it's my list and I can do what I want. I'm placing it at the bottom of my quality list to dispel any criticism you might want to send my way. And if you do? I'll just redirct all of that blame for this on Dean because he never told me that Archer was good. [First of all, this is libel. You'll be hearing from my attorney. Second of all, Archer did air in 2016 so I'm not going to stop you from including it.--Dean] [As if you COULD stop me!--David]

Number 9 LUKE CAGE 
I started this Netflix series when it dropped on the internet and then got mired in the second episode and took a really long time to recommit and finish the show. (I only did finish it last week.) But once the story really started going, I found it to be engaging and fun to watch. Still not as high a hit as Daredevil season 1 or Jessica Jones. [Daredevil is garbage. I liked this show until Diamondback took over the arc. Then I liked it less.--Dean]

Here is a very rare instance of Dean and I agreeing on our lists this year. But, sure, you may remember that when I posted my Fall TV Preview, I was decidedly lukewarm on the concept of The Good Place. But I wasn't ready then. I'm glad that I did eventually get ready. Besides, NBC has to figure out how to be a professional television network someday, right? [Look, NBC has a competent slate of TV comedies on its schedule now. It's turning the corner.--Dean]

Number 7 (a.) YOU'RE THE WORST and (b.) SEARCH PARTY
It's a dramatic tie for seventh place!
(Honestly, I miscounted in my first draft, so I had to find a way to justify squeezing in an eleventh ranked title. [Look I also miscounted and had eleven shows but I dropped Orange is the New Black out of my top ten list because I have principles. I had a funny joke about turning swastikas into windows and everything.. Ugh. This list is a lie.--Dean] And I couldn't bear to cut either of these shows. I've been a fan of You're the Worst for a while and even though it is a show that I can't watch with most other people, I always find the dialogue funny and the story dramatic. (And talk about dramatic . . . that ending to THIS season!) [For whatever reason, this season didn't grab me as much as other seasons have. I still enjoy this show though!--Dean]

And Search Party is my newest new favorite show--something that I only heard about a week-and-a-half ago that I caught up with via On Demand. Thank God for the fact that we live in a future world where there are no murderous robotic bees, but I can pick and choose my quality televised entertainment whenever I get around to it. If you don't know what Search Party is, give it a try. It's the best thing on the tbs network since the Braves had a decent baseball team in the playoffs. [1. The best thing on the tbs network is People of Earth. 2. I watched two episodes of this and I hate everything about this show and the people on it. This show made me dislike Alia Shawkat, which shouldn't be possible.--Dean]

Silicon Valley is another series that I caught up on all at once over the summer. But I'm not going to downgrade it like I did with Archer. It's just so good. All the characters are funny. I can't wait for it to come back on. (And it had made me mildly obsessed with T.J. Miller.) [Zach Woods is the best part of Silicon Valley--not T.J. Miller.--Dean]

Number 5 THE NIGHT OF. . .
Who knows what this show might have been like if James Gandolfini had not died and had played the role taken over by John Turturro. But I can tell you that I probably would not have enjoyed it nearly as much. I loved Turtorro's tortured, sad-sack, ultra-pragmatic lawyer--who wasn't surprised to see the transformation of Riz Ahmed's Naz character, but refused to give up on him whatever. The Night Of . . . was a far greater sequel to the Serial podcast's first season than its actual second season about Beau Berghdahl. [I haven't seen this but I can't imagine how James Gandolfini being in something would make it worse. James Gandolfini was great.--Dean]

The only reason I'm putting this here rather than in one of the final three spots? I knew the outcome going into the experience. But what an experience thsi show was. All of the actors were so good in their roles (even, I thought, Cuba Gooding, Jr.). And, to be honest . . . I remember the Trial of the Century. But I was too much of a mid-twenties college/grad student to really pay attention and care that much. So watching this helped me experience the spectacle sort of for the first time. [I don't care how good this show was. You couldn't pay me to watch this.--Dean]

Number 3 ATLANTA
This ranking of the top three is really hard. I like Atlanta a lot and I like Donald Glover tons and I really, really like Keith Stanfield's Darius character. And I also liked how there were enough weird "Twin Peaks" moments in Atlanta to keep you watching the edge of the screen. But . . . as good as it was, it didn't hit my personal sweet spots as directly as numbers 2 and 1. [This show didn't grab me like I hoped it would, but "B.A.N." was just a fantastic episode of television.--Dean]

It was the breakout hit on Netflix and it made Barb a name to remember. And it was like Goonies and it was like E.T. and it was like a short film that J.J.Abrams might have made in college. And the theme song was great. And it started a Winona-sance. And Lucas was a total angry badass in a bandana who gave no shits to anyone. And parts of it were filmed in Georgia. And all of my kids wanted to dress up as Eleven for Halloween . . . [I liked this show but 80s horror isn't quite my thing, so it didn't make my list. I can't bash this at all. How dare you.--Dean]

. . . but it didn't feature multiple interlocking timelines and it didn't have the knotty moral issues of being a maintenance worker of a sex robot Disneyland. And even though Winona did her best to chew (or maybe hammer?) scenery with Anthony Hopkins . . . NOBODY wears glasses like my man Jeffrey Wright. [I haven't watched this as I don't have HBO but I'm not about to bash Jeffrey Wright. Jeffrey Wright is awesome. Make worse choices on your list, David, so I can make fun of you some more.--Dean]

So, that's it!
Were you not entertained?!!! [Eh.--Dean]

(Only one of my top 10 is on mainstream television. Who am I becoming?) [Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen.--Dean] [Nooooooooooooo! -David]

If you liked this, go check out DEAN'S version of this year's best TV shows. I know that I have some biting comments to say about his opinions and rankings.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Football Counter-Programming 2016--Conference Championships Edition

You thought I was done?

Well, actually, I thought that I was as well . . . but then I remembered that there was still football to be played and that people were still devoting their time to it. So I am BACK!

And . . . I'm going to tell you about the dream I had last night.

(I'm SORRY! I realize that listening to other people's dreams is tedious. But I remember this one really well and I don't have any other good idea for this week's post.)

So . . .


The dream begins with me standing on the sidewalk of Disney World Paris. I'm watching  cast members if cadet style blue military uniforms march in a small parade formation while tourist families walk the other way through Main Street USA (though, if it is Disney World Paris, maybe it is the Main Street Elysee?). Over the park's hidden speaker system, I hear a voice announce that effective immediately, the French language will only be spoken within the Disney World Paris park. The operators apologize if this is a problem for people, but they believe it is the most effective decision for the workers and the visitors to the park.

I shrug and cross the street. I pass by a deep blue colored combination recycling/trash receptacle. And as I pass it, it moves and talks. I realize that it is a park cast member working inside the fake trash can and it is their job to delight the passing guests with conversation and fun kid-friendly jokes about throwing away and recycling your debris. I momentarily feel very, very sorry for the cast member squatted down in this terrible costume. . . . and the scene shifts . . .

I'm still in Disney Paris, but along the other side of some other street. Now I am sitting on top of a real trash dumpster of some sort and I'm sitting hammock style, reclining back with my sandaled feet crossed, out in front of me. As I am relaxing, park goers are stopping to talk to me, commenting politely--but critically--about my feet. They can tell (because I'm wearing sandals) that there is some sort of fungus on my foot (especially my left one) and they are suggesting that I go to a doctor to check that out. And perhaps my feet need to be cleaned as well because one passer-by goes so far as to pluck a very small, extremely tiny plant seedling off of my big toenail. He presents it to me and claims that it was growing on my toe. I'm embarrassed--but not as much as you would expect for some reason.

. . . and the scene shifts again . . .

Now I'm still sitting on the dumpster things, but it is moving. Maybe it has wheels or something? And it is moving pretty fast down a two-lane country road, at night. There are houses and driveways, and drainage ditches along either lane of the road. It is a typical country road almost anywhere in Georgia and it is becoming night. There are cars behind me and other cars approaching me in the left lane. I am controlling the dumpster vehicle sort of like Aladdin controlling the magic carpet or maybe a large skateboard--leaning left and right to make the "vehicle" change direction. I'm trying to stay with the flow of traffic, but eventually I have to veer into the left, oncoming lane and then things get really dicey. I'm weaving more and more and eventually get driven off the road on the left into the driveways of the houses. I slowly come to a stop.

Now . . . while I am maneuvering the dumpster car--even though I am sitting on top of it without a seat, a steering wheel, or a dashboard, I can hear the radio. And I'm listening to an NPR broadcaster that is talking about whatever the news of the day are. But the radio broadcaster is filling in for the normal host and this substitute person is messing up reading the script. Eventually the broadcaster gets so off script that they begin talking about the person they are filling in for instead. Trying to imitate the famous person's voice and phrases. It's weird and not what you expect to hear on the radio.

And, that's it. The dream ended.


But what is another layer of odd? I've had portions of the maneuvering a weird skateboard vehicle on a country road dream before. And each time I'm forced off the road because I can't do it well enough. Why is this a recurring dream for me? And what, if anything, does the rest of the dream mean? If you have ideas, I welcome your comments.

And until I am here again, please remember . . . no one cares what your dreams are--especially when your favorite football teams playoff dreams are about to be crushed by forces completely out of their control.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Football Counter-Programming 2016--Week 13

Credit: myfoxmemphiscom
If you see me driving around town, then now you know why I sport this license plate. I find this to be the funniest passage in any of the Harry Potter books and it is just odd and obscure enough that I thought it would be a great choice for a personalized license plate that only those in the know would possibly get.

And that is all I've got to give you this week. I've had family visit for Thanksgiving, followed by Christmas decorations, and several other tasks in the last few days. I'm sort of tired and there is no way I'm going to successfully convince you NOT to watch football during Rivalry Week.

So, I'll just say Go Bucks! and good night.

And . . . remember . . . no one cares whether your favorite player has the most pairs of Gold Pants of anyone from your Alma Mater.

See you . . . well, I guess I'll see you when the playoffs are set and the big games are ready to go? Thanks for sticking with me during all of these weeks of Football Counter-Programming.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Unknown Drafts . . .

(The first in an unknowable series.)

I find that I have LOTS of draft ideas floating around in my WWYG?! dashboard that were started and not finished. Sometimes they are rants that I typed in anger and saved for a cooling off. Looking back on them, I find that I need to delete and move on. Sometimes the drafts are simply the start of something that didn't engage my attention and needed to be dropped because I lost the thread.

And sometimes the drafts are just unfinished movie reviews of The End of the Tour that I couldn't get around to writing. (Short answer? I liked it. Let's all move on.)

But this . . . now the photo above is something that needed to be finished. Not just because the Thanksgiving/Christmas nexus is almost here and this is the time of year to be quoting It's a Wonderful Life.

I can't remember what motivated me to start this idea back in early January of this year (2016). But maybe I AM afraid of success?

(But not to the degree that I would kill myself to cash in on the life insurance money, don't worry.)

What do you think? Can you decipher why I might have started this post? Does this post in any way divert your focus on big rivalry football games this weekend? What sort of ideas do you have that never get completed?

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Football Counter-Programming 2016--Week 12

I decided to make another video this week to save the time typing. (But now I'm typing anyway . . . especially to explain that the Endscreen links didn't work, and I don't yet know why. But I didn't want to reedit the video to fix that issue.)

Anyway, sorry about the delay in posting. I recorded the video this morning and then got involved with painting the kitchen and didn't get back around to it until now. And remember. No one cares what color your kitchen is painted, as long as your playoff-bound team definitely beats an underdog.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Football Counter-Programming 2016--Week 11

Original image:

This was recorded Saturday morning, post-breakfast, pre-shower. Unscripted. So I am sure it is less than comprehensive.

Leave me a comment telling me what I'm wrong about. Tell me what I left out. Tell me what I glossed over.

And remember . . . EVERYONE cares who you voted for in this election and all elections to come. Make sure you have good reasons for doing so.

See you next week.

(Also note: I saw the typo in the freeze frame text. I tried to annotate a correction rather than redo the whole video. Sorry.)

Wednesday, November 09, 2016


Credit: Sarah Martin
“Hope” is the thing with feathers - 
That perches in the soul - 
And sings the tune without the words - 
And never stops - at all - 

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard - 
And sore must be the storm - 
That could abash the little Bird 
That kept so many warm - 

I’ve heard it in the chillest land - 
And on the strangest Sea - 
Yet - never - in Extremity, 
It asked a crumb - of me.

Emily Dickinson, "Hope" is the thing with feathers

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Football Counter-Programming 2016--Week 10

We are in the second half of the counter-programming season and that means that I am sometimes as a loss for what to write each weekend. So, this week, I turned to social media to get some ideas.
And you guys didn't disappoint.
One of my friends suggested that I explain the GDP of Denmark. And while I did not choose that particular suggestion for this week's post, I am looking into it.

I also got some other suggestions over on Facebook and I will look into those for future weeks and give them due consideration. But . . . as remarkable as this might seem, I decided to tackle the suggestion of my friend Dean. Since he frequently Guest Blogs for me on WWYG?! I guess I have a soft spot for his suggestion. Sadly, his suggestion was not an easy one.
The last time I tried tackling philosophy topics in any serious way was back in my Georgia Southern days. I found the topic frustrating and difficult to follow. So much of it seemed  like a great deal of rhetorical word play and hypotheticals. But I do appreciate the topics being discussed and I do think the themes are often fascinating. But I am nowhere near an expert and will not be able today to really dig into this topic with much depth and foresight.

First, I did a bit of research. I happened to know that my (second) favorite online educational resource--Crash Course--has a great deal of videos on Philosophy. So, I went to see if they had a video on the Mind/Body problem that Dean brought up. And, not surprisingly, they did:

Now, the question here is can you separate the mind from the body. Is the mind distinct from the physicality of yourself  and if that is true, then what does that mean? And when we are talking about "mind" here, I think we are talking about personality. And so we are also talking about what is more important--our physical selves, those limited parts of us that are driven by genetics. Or the ephemeral parts of us that we imagine and suppose it us. And it is also asking . . . can we overcome our physicality? Can we be more than we are?

I think we can. And this leads into another part of Dean's question above--the vexing question of Free Will. If we can be more than we are, if we can overcome the limitations of our physical selves . . . are we choosing to do that or was that choice always Determined and we are working within the plan for us that is the sum or previous choices, causes and effects, as well as our biological experiences?

For me, these philosophical questions are inescapable from religious influences. Not every philosophical questions needs a religious answer, maybe, but religion is always a part of the equation for me. I am a spiritual person and I do believe in the idea of free will. I do not think that God set everything in motion and simply watches from above, letting it all play out as was ordained.

As with most things in life--be it politics or religion or life or whatever--we need to seek a middle ground. I think that our biology (our physical selves) play a very significant role in our lifestyles, our social outlooks, our opportunities. I am a white male with a tinge of physical handicap stemming from the circumstances of my birth. As such, I am extremely privileged in a great many ways and I do have some limitations in other areas of life. And yet, I have NEVER believed, nor have I ever been told that I am hampered from doing almost anything that I choose to do in life. I have been privileged to know people in my life with far greater handicaps than mine and I know they face limitations I never will. Yet within the sphere of our own biological realities, we can make choices.

The choices we choose to make are also influenced by our non-biological experiences (our Nurture). I was taught to believe in myself and to work hard. I was never put down or made to feel less than anyone else. I was surrounded--and am surrounded--by comfort, success, and all the necessary ingredients for good living. There have been no psychological or social impediments placed upon my or taught to me. And so, I act accordingly, identifying what I want and working to achieve it--never doubting that it can be possible for me to achieve. Had I been nurtured differently, my menu of choices in life would likely have been narrowed or directed toward different paths. But I would still be selecting and choosing those pathways for myself.

So, where is all this word salad getting me? I fear (and am sure) that I've not really answering Dean's question, What to do about the choices between Free Will and Determinism? I guess . . . I want to say that we have determinations placed upon us by our biology and our experiences. But we are free to adjust those outcomes (to the best of our ability and desire) on our own. I do not think that I am incapable of making choices, but I recognize that the choices I make are shaped by a lot of factors that I don't appreciate--or that it takes a harder/broader view of the world to factor in accurately. As Dean would say, that makes me a Soft Determinist.

And what about the other question--what about the Mind/Body issue? Are we bound by our physicality or are we MORE? I think, in this case, we are more than a unique collection of atoms within a water sack. Why are we more than this? Now we are edging into religion. And maybe that is a topic for a different day.

But, what do you think about these questions? Watch the videos and see if Hank's words make more sense to you than they did to me. Leave a comment and explain what you like or don't like about these issues. And give me heck for evading the questions.

And finally, remember . . .  few outside linemen take philosophy courses. But the one's that do can still knock you on your butt if you don't spend enough time in the weight room.

See you next week.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Football Counter-Programming 2016--Week 9

I don't have any good ideas this week. Normally, I have an idea during the days leading up to Saturday and I drop down a few sketchy ideas or notes on a page and save it as draft. But nothing came to mind this wee and so I get out of bed this morning and flip open the laptop and have nothing to start with.

And I don't want to do anything elaborate, because I've got errands to run today: taking Sarah to the doctor, trying to help Grace get the last bits of her Nerd Herd Halloween costume, going to the gym for some exercise.

So, I don't have all day to just sit and noodle in front of the computer screen.

. . . so, what should I talk about? . . .

Everyone is sick of the election, so that won't work. (Though, it is really very important and if you haven't taken advantage of early voting opportunities where you live, PLEASE do go vote on Election Day. And remember that while we've only been yammering on about the big race for the White House, there are many, MANY important races at all other levels of government and those local and state races have MUCH more effect on your daily life than the occupant of the executive branch.)

It is starting to look and feel more like autumn here in central Ohio. It is getting cold each day and jackets (or a nice vest) are necessary for comfort. The leaves are in the midst of changing color and falling all over the damn ground and I have to rake them up and holy cow why does this take so long and why am I sweating inside of my sweatshirt when it is actually cold outside and this is awful. But everybody loves Fall, right?

I started watching the Netflix import from Britain "Black Mirror"this week. I've only gotten through a few episodes, but I like it. Modern day Twilight Zone episodes with An Important Issue to frame each story around. Sometimes the language and the subject matter (especially of season 1 episode 1) is a problem. But the series is good.

I fly an American flag in front of my house and it has some sort of plastic rotating collar at the top of the pole, from which there is a metal clip that attaches to a fabric tab inside the flag's sleeve. From all of this, I surmise that the flag is then equipped to rotate according to changing wind patterns and be able to adjust--at least some?--so that it won't be wrapped around the flag pole on windy days.
Can you now guess what my flag looks like?

Halloween decorating is not as much fun as Christmas decorating. In our house, we don't have a central focal point--such as a tree--to emphasize the season. There are several (but maybe not enough?) tchotchkes about the house on various shelves. (Eyes of newt, plug in pumpkins, a small witch hanging from our outside porch.) We have not yet carved our pumpkins. (That's another errand to accomplish today.) And we have some orange electric lights to help decorate the porch at night, but I couldn't get the outside outlet to work last week when I tried to plug them in. I kinda want some hay bales and corn sheaves and things like that, but we never really get into it that hard. Oh well.

Hey . . . look at that.

I did have something to write today. Whether it adds up to the fact that you should not spend all day watching football, I don't know.

But if it doesn't, just remember--nobody else cares if your Halloween costume is based off of the coach of the Sunbelt Conference winning team from 1974. Pick Dracula next year. Everybody recognizes Dracula.

See you next week.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Football Counter-Programming 2016--Week 8

Yeah, I know that I'm diverting a bit from the "style" that I created at the beginning of this season of Counter-Programming. And there is nothing more that I hate than inconsistent style when applied to a completely arbitrary concept. But even if much of the rest of what I do on this blog is meaningless, I should at least try to maintain some standards of expectation.

And yet . . .

Welcome, back everyone to another Saturday of Counter-Programming!

How is your sports avoidance strategies holding up in 2016? I realize that things are harder as Fall starts to settle in, as the leaves blanket the yard, and thoughts turn to Halloween candy and sweaters. But, don't worry! Because if your "Autumn" is anything like the one that I have been experiencing, you might think it is still summer. So, why not take the chance this Saturday afternoon to take a stroll outside? Or cut the grass one more time? Or take up disc golf. (You know that you've always been intrigued by it and wanted to see what it was like.)

But . . . on to today's FC-P topic. And it's time for some #RealTalk . . .

I am developing a fear of falling.

Not falling off of a cliff or falling off of a roof, or even falling off of a ladder--though I definitely do avoid that possibility as much as I can.

No, I'm talking about the everyday stumble. The trip over your own feet. The unexpected faceplant.

If you've known me for a while, I've surely told you the story of my spectacular fall when I was in high school and I was attending a band competition. (I don't want to spend lots of time searching the blog for a post I surely must have written on this topic some time in the past--as I am already later than I want to be with uploading this post.)

But I did find an old post where I describe where this sort of situational vertigo started.

It is not a persistent, all-the-time sort of fear. But there are these times when I focus on it more. As I said in that previous post--when I am walking in the cafeteria with a tray and part of my brain is devoted to balancing. And especially when I am walking across open spaces with a tray and my brain suddenly realizes that (if worst comes to worst) I would not have something right beside me to grab hold of.

(Do you know where I feel this most acutely? In those wide-open circular areas at the mall, where hallways converge and there are escalators? Do you know what I'm talking about? Places where there is just . . . space? Sometimes, I get an extra hitch in my gait when I hit one of those areas. My brains just sort of wakes up for a minute and makes me aware of things. And my leg muscles sort of cramp up for a step or two.)

I always wonder what that looks like to someone else. Can they notice it?

The other place where I've been bothered by it most often is walking on sidewalks. (Especially when I was walking downtown recently or last Spring when we visited Savannah and went walking on River Street. So many uneven cobble stones everywhere!) Sidewalks are full of seams and uneven borders and shifted planes and well, it is just a problem! But I am trying to take more walks--both for my health and to confront this psychological block and force it out of existence.

That is my strategy at the moment--confront and overcome. Just walk it out of existence or learn to ignore it--like I try to ignore my double-vision when it is getting to be a problem.

I admit that when my vertigo in the office cafeteria was really causing me concern a few years ago, I started to investigate whether I should visit a psychologist. I waded into the HR Benefits site at work to see if I could find anything that made any sort of logical sense. But the problem became more manageable after that and I didn't go much further with my investigation. I guess I could go back to it if needed, but for now I think I am okay.

As long as I stay upright. When I get a bit older and the specter of broken bones becomes more of a problem? Well, I guess we'll see. If I join the gym and get stronger, maybe I can gain more overall body control and learn to handle things in different ways still.

I guess I'll keep you updated if necessary. But until then, remember--absolutely EVERYONE cares if your primary field goal kicker is guilty of domestic violence. So, don't act like we don't have an opinion on that subject. Just cut that jackass from your team and move on.

See you next weekend with more Football Counter-Programming!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Football Counter-Programming 2016--Week 7

Howdy everybody. Welcome back to another week of non-football Facebook distractions.

We live in a world of memes. You know what they are, right? Memes are like digital idioms--short phrases or pictures that represent bigger thoughts or points of view. They are usually pretty nonsensical and are meant either to make you laugh or to state your point of view about a topic. Things that have gone viral are memes.

For instance, all this past week, Kenneth Bone and his red sweater was a meme. At least until The New York Times decided to rip him a new one.

My first meme was All Your Base Are Belong To Us. I had recently started working at McGraw-Hill and was spending a lot more time in my life starting at computer screens. And I wish I could remember who pointed me to it. But I was intrigued by the bizarre juxtaposition of the edited imagery, the song, and the tenuous connection to a simple video game.

But I moved on with my life and didn't dive down the rabbit hole. I had young children and a job to cultivate. But the Internet was only getting bigger and more diverse and all of my friends were staring at computer screens all day long as well. So, the one that next caught our collective attention was Hopkin Green Frog.

Did you ever encounter Hopkin? Do you think Terry ever quit looking for Hopkin? I want to think that he did Find His Frog. (And I do wonder if he was found on the moon.)

Hopkin Green also started with an innocuous handmade sign that blew up into something far different and much more widespread. And that is what memes do. As a (once college-trained) amateur cultural anthropologist, I guess I am drawn to the weird propagation of the ideas. I like to see where they come from and where they are going and how people twist the ideas into new shaped and directions. It's a fun diversion.

So, enough set up. Let's get to today's focal point . . .the SNL Digital Short "Dear Sister" with the haunting soundtrack.

When I was first shown this by one of my kids, I laughed at the absurdity of it. But I didn't read any descriptions about it at the time and moved on. But I learned from my girls that it had become a meme to their friends. They would mimic the bizarre song that plays over and over again during moments of drama and tension amongst their friend groups. And I thought that was funny.

Then, last week, I read this piece on The Ringer about "Hide and Seeking" and everything fell into place. (You really should click on the link in the previous sentence and read that article.) I was thrilled to learn that the "Dear Sister" digital short was directly making fun of a scene in the old FOX network show, The O.C. (a show that I had never watched).

And I was so, SO happy! I finally had the context I wanted about where this weird SNL skit had come from. And I could connect all the dots and feel a renewed excitement in some stupid thing that made me laugh.

What bits of excitement and revelation did you experience this week? Feel free to share your news in the comments.

And, until next week, remember . . . no one cares if your alma mater's linebacker fumbled the ball while trying to return a turnover for a touchdown in last week's conference showdown. You still have to get up and go to work on Monday no matter what.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Football Counter-Programming 2016--Week 6

Credit: . . . the Internet! (Sorry, I didn't locate the person who created this.)

This past Saturday, we hopped in the car and drove down closer to Cincinnati to visit the Ohio Renaissance Festival. And while it did not occur to me during the 1 hour and 10 minute drive down to the festival site, a really fun game that you can play at such events is a scavenger hunt where you look for certain typs of people.

This diversion dawned on me just as we entered the gates after scanning our tickets, when I got a look at the people walking through the trails of Ye Olde Festival. (And the main reason that I wish I had thought of it sooner is that creating the list would have helped pass the time during the drive south. But, then again, I think the specificity of the list was improved by the witnessing provided during walking around the Festival grounds.)

Anyway . . . once I had the idea, I told it to Grace, who appreciates a quality idea when it is in front of her. She took it and built out almost all of these Scavenger Hunt items.

So, the next time YOU are at the Ohio Renaissance Festival, print out this list and see how many of these fun items you can discover around you.

Renaissance Festival Scavenger Hunt

  1. Dread Pirate Robertts
  2. Elf ears
  3. Guy in a kilt
  4. Flower crown in someone's hair
  5. Overweight man eating Turkey legge
  6. Guy with real parrot on shoulder
  7. Girl with purple hair
  8. People dressed exclusively in black
  9. Inappropriate Harry Potter outfit
  10. Dude in full armor
  11. Game of Thrones cosplay
  12. Legend of Zelda cosplay
  13. Excessive display of cleavage
  14. People with way-too-tiny hats
  15. Lord of the Rings cosplay (+20 if you find someone dressed as Gollum)
  16. Feathered cap (think Robin Hood)
  17. Wizard (+5  if they have a big staff and  +20 if they have a natural beard)
  18. Fake fur
  19. Bow and Arrow
  20. Sword
  21. Someone dressed as the Pope
  22. Someone carrying a scythe
  23. Men on horseback
  24. Men wearing traditional women's clothing
  25. Men with a wheelbarrow
  26. Doctor Who cosplay
  27. Ninja? (Yeah, that's right. ninja!)
  28. Captain Jack Sparrow outfit (with +2 if he walks like he's drunk)
  29. Fairy wings
  30. Sword swallower
  31. Fire eater
  32. Bagpiper
  33. Person wearing a weird animal tail attached to clothing
  34. Person without a shirt
  35. +5 if you interacted with Ren Fair "cast member"
I thought Grace did a great job putting this together. Feel free to use it. (The Ohio Ren Fair is still open through almost all of October!)

And, here are a few pictures of my kids having fun.

And, in the end . . . remember . . . no one cares if your team screwed up defending that Hail Mary pass that improbably made them lose the game. {Because millions of people once died from bubonic plague. Let's hold on to some perspective, okay?) See you next week!

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Football Counter-Programming 2016--Week 5

Every week I heroically take on the challenge of diverting the sheeple from the hegemony of college football. I don't really know if I am making any headway or not. But it gives me an excuse to keep adding quality content to this blog, so I see no reason to stop.

The only times I do consider stopping is when I sit in front of the blank screen and face the challenge of what is worth writing about.

Some "popular" blogs have a rabid army of followers who want nothing more than to suggest topics for future inclusion. But WWYG?! is slightly less popular than those--whichever ones you are thinking about.

So, my dilemma remains.


How do people sit down and create? I know it is anything but easy to take an idea from nothing and work it through into something that is finished and ready for others to enjoy. How much time and effort must be devoted to the challenge of writing a short story, a novel, whatever?

I have a running joke with my kids that when something fun happens, I comment "That will be chapter [whatever random number I choose] in my Young Adult novel." But promised novel will never appear, no manuscript will ever be written, no time will be spent even trying to write it. And the reason is simple. And if you have spent time reading WWYG?! over the years, you've already heard the answer.

I'm laaaaaazy.

My desire to create is very short--if it exists at all. I am much happier consuming the fruits of other people's creative labor--either in book, blog, or media formats. I was to be a passive observer of things, not the tireless, driven maker of something. If given a choice between doing or not doing . . . I guess I'm a non-doer.

Internally, I admit that makes me sad. Shouldn't I try hard to be the best possible version of me that I can be? Isn't it a waste of my life advantages to simply flow along through this world without trying to increase the size of my ripples?

(I said ripples.)

Or is that all delusional grandstanding that exists only in my head--an imagined estimation of my own potential that has no basis in anything but my imagination? (Especially since I've never given much of any indication that I am capable of anything beyond some random blog posts whenever I can be bothered to sit down in front of a computer for ten minutes.)

*** Random Thoughts Based on Perusing my Twitter Feed ***

1. Quick. Can you name a U.S. president who chose a dog instead of a cat? Or is it because cats don't go outside that I can't think of anyone?

2. Some day, when I get to visit New York City, I'll go to Carnegie Deli. And when I do it, I will be glad that I experienced it, but also slightly embarrassed that I have chosen such a stereotypical tourist experience.

*** Random Thought NOT Based on Perusing My Twitter Feed.***

(What no one will ever tell Apple Inc. . . . is that parents use FaceTime 100 percent of the time to call their teenagers down from their rooms for dinner and 0 percent of the time to connect with grandparents.)

So . . . there it is for another week.
And remember . . . no one cares if your defensive coordinator violated recruiting rules in the off-season.

See you next weekend!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Football Counter-Programming 2016--Bye week


During every football season, there is a week with no game. It's called a bye week.

Since I am travelling this weekend, this is going to be my bye week.

And wouldn't you know it ? When I went looking for an image to illustrate this post, Google images served up something that I created and used just two years ago!

I'm really making a difference in this world.

So, that's it for this week. Remember . . . no one cares--well, you can make up the rest. It's my bye week.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Football Counter-Programming 2016--Week 3

Have I talked about the concept of "birthday time" yet on the blog?

I seem to remember tweeting a screen shot illustrating the idea once, but I don't know if I actually explained what it meant.

Can you guess?

It's pretty simple really . . . you convert what month and day you were born into corresponding hours and minutes. That is your "birthday time." For example, I was born on October 17. So, my birthday time is 10:17.

What is the value of this fact? (Or maybe it should be called a concept since it isn't any sort of recognized thing . . . but merely a quirk that I have--one that I would like to turn into a more recognized thing.)

Andbutso . . . the value of knowing this? Truly there isn't much--obviously, or I guess more people would do something with it and there would be lines of greeting cards centered around it or some other relevant commercialization of it.

No, it's just something I started doing mentally in my head and I taught my children to pay attention to it. For no other reason that it makes me momentarily happy to look at a clock when it randomly indicated 10:17 and think silently to myself "Hey, it's birthday time."

Maybe that makes me monstrously self-centered? Or maybe it just makes garden variety narcissistic. Or maybe it means nothing at all. But I know that I like it when I hear my children from across the room acknowledge "Birthday Time!" when the happen to notice it on the clock. Not that they always do so . . . but it makes my heart beat a bit whenever it does happen.

We all want to make a difference in some way, I guess. To prove that we existed and that our lives were not just a flash in a long string of others, with no lasting consequence. Maybe this is mine?

So . . . anyway . . . maybe twenty years from now when you feel obligated to send Hallmark Greeting Cards twice-daily text messages to people to celebrate their Birthday Time, you can thank me for the obligation.

And remember--no one cares if your college's field goal kicker great up in Melbourne and didn't know who David Hasselhoff was until last year. He still can't reliably hit a 40 yard field goal when the wind is blowing left-to-right.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Fall TV Preview 2016: My Shows that are a STOP!

This year, instead of focusing my posts on networks, or nights of the week, or some other organizational principle, I'm grouping shows into three main categories: GO! CAUTION! or STOP!

Today I'm going to talk about the shows that I think are big, bright STOP's! You've been warned!

Aaron Sorkin's A Few Good Men, LIVE! (NBC; coming soon?)
There are so many dangerous things about that title in bold above. Aaron Sorkin; LIVE!; NBC. All warning signs that you need to stay away.

The Blacklist: Redemption (NBC, coming soon?)
I don't know if The Blacklist was any good, but I heard some people say that it was good. But I'm not too psyched about the idea of taking a marginally successful show and trying to generate a spinoff Dick Wolf style. The fact that it is not scheduled for Fall release is also worrisome to me. Is NBC so successful all of a sudden that they don't NEED lots of new shows in the Fall season?

The NEW Celebrity Apprentice (NBC, Mondays, January 2 @ 8)
The show that brought us Gozer the Gozarian in the form of Donald Trump, GOP candidate for the White House, is retooling itself with Arnold Schwartzenegger in the big chair. Will he say "You're Fired!" or will he say "Come with me if you want to profit." I'll never know because I'll never watch.

Emerald City (NBC; Fridays, January 6 @ 9 pm new)
High concept. Genre. Whichever category you want to put this show in, I'm uncomfortable predicting it as a success. Did NBC try to make this into one of its LIVE events and then shift gears and turn it into a series? I'm skeptical. And it's on Fridays. There are many "coming soon" shows on NBC and they are waiting in the wings precisely because of these kinds of adventurous ideas.

Trial and Error (NBC, coming soon)
Why waste any time or words telling you how bad this show is, when a picture will prove it so much more definitively than anything that I could possibly say? I won't even bother trying to give you a plot. Any plot you imagine from this set up shot is likely to appear if the show is given enough time.

No Tomorrow (The CW Tuesdays@ 9, new)
As the title might lead you to guess, this is a show influenced by a fictional apocalypse. But . . . it's a comedy! But really, the most comedic thing about it is the tortured description sentences someone had to bend themselves into pretzels to write: "When a risk-averse female procurement manager at an Amazon-like distribution center falls in love with a man who lives life to the fullest because he believes the apocalypse is imminent, it leads to comedic and poignant results as they embark on a quest to fulfill their individual bucket lists."

Now, you all know that here at WWYG?! I deal in only the best prose. (I once considered my blog tag line should be All Killer; No Filler; so you know that I'm right when I tell you that this description is a problem.

Frequency (The CW Wednesdays @ 9, new)
You may remember the movie this show is based upon--child mysteriously contacts dead father through ham radio. Well, this show is the same, but the unintended consequences for the mystical radio broadcasts create problems that need to be resolved. I guess you could take the spirit of Early Edition (remember that show?) and mix in some wackiness of this year's NBC show Timeless. But I don't think this one is for me.

[Editor's note: I feel sorry that I am putting a STOP sign in front of both of The CWs new shows for this fall. But, then again, I'll be visiting the network frequently to watch its bevy of superhero offerings: Supergirl (rescued from CBS for season 2), Arrow (yes . . . still), and The Flash (definitely). But I won't be watching Legends of Tomorrow any longer. Beyond the tights and capes shows, I'll gladly come back for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend as well. So . . . I'll definitely be spending time on this mini-network this year.]


I've decided to stop watching The Big Bang Theory. I have ceased to laugh at the shows humor and don't see any reason to continue. Besides, I can most likely catch the seasons I will miss in endless syndication somewhere during my next decade of TV watching.

Similarly, I've given up on Quantico (ABC Fridays @ 10). But really, I gave up on this show after the initial spurt of new shows during the first half of its premiere season. It just didn't grab my attention and I didn't care about the characters who were all portrayed as liars and cheats--some of whom were involved in a terrorist bombing in New York? And the others were being trained as FBI agents and were also trying to figure out which of their classmates did it? (Sorry, I have already spend too many words on this. Dropped.)

And so, that is it for this Fall. I hope you learned something. Let me know in comments if you like a show that I panned. I'd love to hear other opinions.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Fall TV Preview 2016: My Shows that are a CAUTION!

I've been writing posts about new Fall TV since the start of this blog. And every year, I try to present my inconsequential thoughts with a different spin. So, for 2016, instead of focusing my posts on networks, or nights of the week, or some other organizational principle, I'm grouping shows into three main categories: GO! CAUTION! or STOP!

Today I'm going to talk about the shows that I think are CAUTION's! Tread lightly when you start investigating these shows.

Timeless (NBC; Mondays, October 3 @ 10 pm new)
This is cautionary because NBC has a history of providing genre shows that don't really work out in the end. (Revolution, for example.) And, I spent more time than I should have last year getting disappointed by The CW's Legends of Tomorrow--another show where time travelers have some scientific way to investigate the past to right wrongs and have excuses to dress up in period costumes. The green screen budget for this show will probably be high. But how much of that money should have gone to the writing staff?

The Good Place (NBC; Mondays, September 19 @ 10 pm new) 
Shows with a high-concept hook like The Afterlife seem dangerous. (Sorry if that is a spoiler.) And the NBC promo page for this show is making me remember Go On with Matthew Perry, but I can't explain to you why that is. And I don't like the idea of Ted Danson always wearing a bow tie. Is he some sort of wacky angel? But having said all that . . . this show might be good? Proceed at your own risk is what I'm saying.

The Wall (NBC, coming soon)
It's a game show. And it's hosted by Chris Hardwick. I only place it here in the CAUTION! area because I have good will towards Chris Hardwick.

Taken (NBC, coming soon)
Sure, "Every hero has a beginning." But there are reasons why there are no epic poems written about how nobel Achilles was potty trained. That is why "80s movies montages" yada yada'd the acquisition of skills and equipment before the start of the big final battle sequence. We don't need to learn how the Liam Neeson stand-in acquired his fabled "very particular set of skills". That's boring. But something on NBC has to last for a while, right? And people really do seem to like these movies. (And you can bet that Fox is hoping people like TV shows based on movies.)

Pitch (Fox, Thursdays @ 9, new)
What if a female athlete was able to pitch in the major leagues? That is the premise of this show. And I just don't know if it will be good. So, I will put it here in the CAUTION! category. But it does make me wonder what would have to happen before this does occur in the United States. How long do you think something like this might take--or do you think it simply will NEVER occur?


Gotham (Fox, Mondays @ 8)
I'll watch this show for one more season to see what it does. I HATE that they brought back Jada Pinckett Smith as Fish Mooney. But maybe the writers will think of something that might be interesting? And I need to give Dean some reason to feel superior to me.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, Tuesdays @ 10)
This feels like it might be the last run for this show--which doesn't really feel essential at all and doesn't really need to exist to provide synergy for the MCU anymore. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a well-oiled machine churning out fun movies that make hundreds of millions of dollars when people say it wasn't that good. So, no . . . Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is unnecessary. Why not replace it with reruns of Alias? I'd definitely watch THAT over again!

Superstore (NBC, Thursdays @ 8)
Honestly, I've never watched this show. But I have a mysterious emotional soft spot towards it. Maybe that is because the dude from Mad Men and A to Z is a main character? (I still wish NBC had given A to Z more time to settle down. It could have been a millennial Mad About You.)
Or maybe Superstore just reminds me of the Buy More scenes from Chuck? But this show might be worth some of my least essential time, so maybe I'll drop in on a few episodes to see what it is like.

Damning with faint praise is what the CAUTION! category is all about.

Tune back in tomorrow when we get to the Red light. Problems will abound.