pssssst! brainfag is retired! i'm now at


Godblast you HBO

posted in Home Jabber on April 19, 2006

First off, I'm sad to report that another wonderful McCreary relative, my great-Uncle Carl, older brother of my Grandma Cleo, passed away last week. I'll miss him, and wish I had spent more time on his Kent farm.

uncle carl

I've retreated to a cafe' on the fringe of the ever-more-Hawthorne-looking Alberta district (which currently houses FIVE wifi-enabled cafes within 20 blocks) where I'm not embarrassed to brandish my (gasp! horror!) new gadget: a scratched & tattered 20gb iPod. While outside, spring sun is blasting Vitamin D into the blazing white skin of blinking honkies (how's that for some addled alliteration?) emerging from a Portland winter hibernation, and Computer Love by Kraftwerk switches to Ducky Wucky by Duke Ellington on the iPod-driven headphones, here I am, in the United States of America, tucked into a espresso-scented, pastel painted, roughly-hewn wood and cement box typing a frickin blog entry. God I feel typecast.

Even moreso because remnants of Deadwood are flickering in my Vitamin D drenched brain, which brings me to my real point: GODBLAST YOU HBO! For creating this goddamned series Deadwood! Godblast ALL these emerging television shows of quality! While some part of me celebrates this new trend in well-written material for the boob-tube, another part is frustrated at how irritatingly ADDICTIVE these shows are. I thought only Twin Peaks could cause me, against all natural urges, to get excited about a story stuffed into the previously canned & confining format of a television show. Enough already! Freaks and Geeks! Firefly! Deadwood! LOST! Blaaagh! Even Buffy the goddamned VAMPIRE SLAYER pulled me to the dark side of effortless entertainment, drooling twelve inches from the screen, mumbling "What? Willow wouldn't do that!"

(Quick disclaimer for my own satisfaction: The only "real" television I've ever had was a modified coaxial cable shoved into half the UHF plug, and that was long ago. Now I have high-speed DSL, haha! Less evil?)

Granted, Lost has steadily become less and less interesting as this soap-opera-esque second season plays out. The latest episode finally put me over the hump to be officially disinterested in what happens next. It's gotten really boring. Sorry! You lose! Lost now sucks!

I'm 3/4 way through the first season of Deadwood (going about it alone, Soon Bok reacted to the first episode much as she did to the first Star Wars: she fell asleep.) It's really goddamn good. Gritty as hell and great subject matter. I think there has been revitalized interest in our early roots of "settling" this rattletrap continent, and for good reason. This was wild country, and now it's full of Walgreens. My only complaint so far is how Bullock has gleaming white teeth... ? Say huh? Was he a pioneer in chewing sand and silica?

However, Soon Bok HAS joined me in the fascination with Freaks and Geeks, a long-delayed response to Aaron Renier's recommendation a year+ ago. Sometimes you get the feeling casts are so perfectly assembled that it transcends even a well-written script to make a show so good.. that of course it would get cancelled right away. Thus making Freaks and Geeks like most good shows in the sad history of tv -- short-lived and well-loved *afterward*.

Which brings me to another point: The whole reason these new shows are possible are DVD BOX SETS. They're like serialized comic stories awaiting the final resting spot of georgeous packaging: not a hardbound book, but a set of plastic discs with fancy extra footage and booklets. It's a great format, and as much as my stomach turns with participating in clever capitalistic schemes, I'm damn glad networks are figuring out how to best utilize it. Build an addicted fanbase and you'll suck up some premium profits when the glossy collected set emerges as a consumable product. (Or you'll just get ambivalent, rambling blog posts from people who download the show with bittorrent.)

But who cares! We're on the high horse to hell in a handbasket anyfuckingways, so let's enjoy the sights. (Can I stuff one more cliche into a sentence?)

6 comments on this entry

Nate-Ezra sent me the "firefly" DVDs as a thank-you for letting him crash with me in New York and I really enjoyed them too. My other TV-to-DVD experiences were with "My So Called Life" (also awesome and quickly canceled) and "The Muppet Show" which was my FAVORITE all time show as a kid.

Really, what I hate about television, and the reason I don't watch it, is the ADS. So I'm all about the DVDs. Because it removes all of the ads, it's just storytelling like a regular movie or comic book or novel or whatever.

So... I agree? Yeah! I'm biting my nails waiting for the second season of The Muppet Show...

Alec 4/24/06

yeah, Firefly is some purty deeluxe scifi. (yet again: soon bok fell asleep.) i agree about the ads; they're so damn sophisticated and seductive. evil! (hence my guilt at owning an iPod.)

i love picturing you biting your nails over the muppet show.

Nate 4/24/06

i was living with my dad for a month when Deadwood started on HBO. I was just as hooked. I almost picked up the dvd set the other day since I know I missed episodes.
When I moved into the house I currently am in, one of the roommates had the first season of lost on dvd. The first weekend I lived there I sat in front of the tv watching that stuff. eff.
my friends always rave about firefly... i think i saw a few episodes here and there when I'd be crashing at my mom's.

josh m 4/25/06

New Brainfag! I'm gonna be down here in the computer rooms all night. And I'm glad to see that you've gotten into Deadwood. It hits you pretty unexpectedly, doesn't it... one minute you're watching a single episode, then... SEVEN in a row!

I looked it up and turns out that a lot of the detail and storylines are real. Hickok really did fall foul of Jack Mc'Call, Swearengen really did run the Gem saloon and apparently he was worse in real life...

As for Bullock, apart from the white teeth, homeboy looks pretty similar to the real deal, except that the real Bullock had a PROPER MAN'S moustache. A dead squirrel!

Anyway, keep up the good work Mr Beaty. You cocksucker.

Sorry! that's the Deadwood talking...

Jason Theodorou 4/25/06

I have to write a little in defense to Alec's gripe about TV commercials. A few of them are great--cleverly written, subtle snippets of good script writing.

Here's my latest favorite (and I have to record it somehow before IT"S gone). The romantic dinner in France where a cooing conversation (in French) is stunningly interrupted when some ghastly black blob lands with a resounding splat on mademoiselle's plate. The next scene shows two people using a drain cleaner that "blasts" the clog away. She says to him, "I wonder where the clog went?"

judi 4/28/06

To be honest, I've always been baffled by your love of commercials, mom. But I am angered by much of our culture, particularly the devious craft of confincing proles of superfluous material need, so that may explain the bafflement. Besides, so much of the extremely talented are put to work selling instead of enlightening folks (or ANYTHING else but selling selling selling).

Of course this is oh so easily solved: don't watch tv. A habit I've honed since childhood, even if not by choice at first, ha!

Nate 5/4/06

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