Friday, July 23, 2010

Hey, you, get out of my mind!

Is it a dream or just a movie---or both?

This will be quick and dirty.  Maybe I'll return to it, and maybe I won't.  Perhaps you will have comments that will spur me to a more in depth post later.

It's been a week now, and Inception, Chris Nolan's latest brain bender, is still rattling around inside my casaba.  While I thought it was a good movie, I certainly did not love it, and I was definitely looking at my watch and wondering when the sedative was going to wear off as it wound down to its conclusion.  By the end, I was more than ready for the credits to roll.  Some of that may have been due to the actual movie going experience I had, but that wasn't all of it.  Inception was good, but I didn't find it to be actually all that entertaining.  There were long stretches where I just wasn't interested; much of the exposition was clumsy and took me out of the movie (dream?); and pretty much everything from the The Spy Who Loved Me sequence in the third (or 33rd?) dream level was butt numbingly boring.

Yet a week later I cannot stop thinking about it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Death of Cinema

 We paid $99.95 for this?

Lately I've been listening to a podcast called The Business, which I highly recommend.   It's not new, but it is new to me.  Hosted by Kim Masters on KCRW, which is a fine public radio station in Santa Monica, The Business is essential listening for anyone interested in the business aspect of Hollywood (hence the title).  Ms. Masters, along with a fine stable of partners and guests, talks dollars and sense, dissecting why both are in such short supply in Hollywood these days.  One of the more interesting and (to my mind) misunderstood topics that has come up frequently in recent years has been the slow death of the movie theater business.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Evil Sycophantic Pinhead Nation

Lebron James prepares for his closeup on ESPN

I've seen a lot of sick shit in my life.  I've seen men and women act in an evil manner both from malice and obliviousness.  Doubtless I have seen many things much more sickening that what happened last Thursday on ESPN between 9 and 10 pm, but right now I'm having all sorts of trouble recalling what those things are, because Lebron James and his Decision have temporarily inflated the balloon in my brain that holds all memories involving cruelty and hatred, temporarily blocking me from accessing and processing anything other than the evil clown face Lebron has long worn in my head.

Not that this is about my hatred, mind you, although I don't expect too many people outside of NE Ohio to believe that (and probably not even all people inside NE Ohio, either).  No, this is about Lebron's hatred for his own home and hearth (and possibly for himself, as well).  But it's not about my hating anything, as hatred is something I reserve primarily for people I know personally.  Extreme emotions are not something I waste time bestowing on people I do not know, or who I know only through the twisted and distorted lens of the media.

Disgust, sure.  There is an emotion I can get behind.  But not hatred.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Rest without peace

"Yeah, I could use some good drugs right about now."

Continued family health problem continue to cause Schmoker blog problems.  I just do not have the time to blog at the moment (and I am devastated, as that means BP continues to get off without my yet calling them the scum of the earth and explaining exactly why that is so), so I'm hitting you up with yet another link.  This one, however, is likely one you have probably never run across before.  It's a podcast done by a couple of television writers named David Simkins and Marc Zicree.  It you ever wanted to know how television shows get made (and, to a lesser extent, movies), then this is an enjoyable peek behind the curtain, as they talk the hows and whys and what-the-fucks with a wide variety of writers    young and old, male and female, good and bad    over the course of what is so far thirty separate podcasts. I particularly recommend the editions with Lee Goldberg, Larry Karaszewski & Scott Alexander, Mark Fergus, and Brad Kern & John Wirth.  But they are all valuable, and there is also an excellent repost of an old and interesting interview with Stanley Kubrick that was originally conducted during the days of 2001.

And if you fancy that you may one day wish to write for television or film, then these podcasts are more than simply interesting.  They are, in fact, a must, as they are as edifying as anything I ever learned while studying theater and film at a prestigious college program which shall remain nameless. 

So check them out.  Thank me later.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Use The Force (of capitalism)

 "My God, am I glad there are still memories left to rape!"

It's been a hell of a couple of weeks.  Since I am loathe to put up two sentences and a link in lieu of a blog entry, I've just gone with mostly nothing for a while.  However, I still don't have the time to do anything proper (and lucky for BP that is so, as I'd be tearing them a new asshole if I had the time), so instead I'm going to put up a couple of sentences and a link.

If you hate Star Wars (or if you more rightly love Star Wars but hate the prequels), and if you have yet to stumble upon the Red Letter Media reviews of the Star Wars prequels, then this will be a treat for you.  And if you have already stumbled upon them and watched them before, watch again.  They only get funnier with age and repetition.  The home page linked above also has a number of hilarious Star Trek: TNG reviews as well, and I'll embed Part One of the Phantom Menace review here.

Why watch a review for a crappy movie that came out nearly fifteen years ago?  Well, because this particular video review is just that funny.  It is so damn funny, in fact, that it almost makes the original suffering I endured while watching the Phantom Menace worth it.  And it is so damn funny that it definitely makes bearable the fact that we live in a world where George Lucas sodomizes his own creations (were they really his creations???) in order to line his pockets Gordon Gekko-style.

On top of that, the anonymous author of this review obviously put more time and effort into it than what George Lucas could be bothered to put into the writing of any of those lousy prequels, so I think attention must be paid (especially when I don't have the time or inclination to do a proper blog entry).  Our phantom mess of a reviewer properly eviscerates the movie and Lucas, but he always does so in a manner that is completely high-larious and appropriately profane.  With each succeeding part (there are seven in all), the review just gets funnier and funnier.  If you hang in for the full 70 minutes, you will find it very much worth your while. 

Especially if you once wasted over 120 minutes watching the crap-fest extravaganza called Phantom Menace.

So, enjoy:

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

A Working Vay-Kay

Not just a fuck-buddy anymore!

I've been pretty swamped lately (work, family medical fun, work, avoiding work, personal medical fun, more work, and more avoiding work), so I've taken a break from blogging since the Lost finale left me emotionally bereft.

Expect more ranting and raving soon, but not today.  Today I'll just point out that if you ain't watching Glee, then you should be, if for no other reason than the fact that the above pictured Jane Lynch, whom you may remember as a potential fuck-buddy for Steve Carell in The 40-Year Old Virgin, is doing some of the funniest and cruelest work on television.  Even if fully staged versions of Bohemian Rhapsody are not for you, Lynch's portrayal of Sue Sylvester, the woman you love to hate (and eventually just flat out love) is for everyone.  And in addition to giving voice to lines so harsh they could lacerate a kidney ("You're hair looks like a briar patch.  I keep expecting racist animated Disney characters to start popping up and sing songs about living on the bayou."), Jane Lynch also sticks the landing on those rare occasions when Glee  includes a scene intended to give her character depth (from her Down's Syndrome soft-spot, thanks to a Down's sister, to her total gonzo commitment to the students at her school, which the show makes completely believable on those rare occasions when they need to demonstrate it).

In fact, of all the characters on Glee, Lynch's Sue Sylvester, author of I'm A Winner and You're Fat, is the only one who never seems a caricature even for a moment.  That's more about Lynch's portrayal than anything else, and major props to her for it.

So, I'm here to put in plea to you and to Glee.  No matter what type of music you like, each week they probably have something for you.  They jump from Gaga to Madonna to Streisand at the drop of a hat, and they work in rap and funk right alongside power ballads and rock anthems.  From a football team doing Single Ladies, to a version of Proud Mary with everyone in wheelchairs, to an affecting rendition of Lulu's To Sir, With Love, Glee's musical numbers hit every age group, every demographic.  And they are exceedingly aware of the modern world we live in, as this season they found a way to work in a flash-mob scene (which, if you do not yet know, is the modern phenomena of seemingly normal people bursting into dance and song in public, a la this T-Mobile video, before dropping right back into walking through their humdrum lives).  The flash mob number was one of the show's best sequences, from it's new take on an old song (The Safety Dance) to the way it played into some heartfelt drama by allowing a wheelchair bound character to express his dreams of dancing via a fantasy flash-mob sequence that was one for the ages.

They don't all work, and sometimes the drama itself can go right off the rails, but there is always the music and the funny (and Jane Lynch) to bring everything back around when things gets shaky.

So, here's my plea (and if know someone involved with the show to whom you can forward this, then let's get to it, peeps):  I want a LipDub show. If you are unfamiliar with this video trend, LipDub cannot be described, it can only be experienced.  You can find two of the best examples here and here.  Basically they are amateur music videos, only they are done all in one extremely long and complicated take, involving hundreds and hundreds of people at a time.  Generally they are done by college and high school kids, and some of them are more fun to watch than anything else you can do with your clothes on.

If anything was tailor made for Glee, it's the LipDub experience.  So if you are a Gleek like me, then let's starting beating the bushes and make this happen.

And if you aren't a Gleek like me, then here's what you missed on Glee!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

When I finally cried

Of all the Lost deaths, this one finally broke the dam.

I've been watching Lost for six years now and, if you include DVD rewatching, I've cried more than any forty year old dude ever should while watching a television show.  Certainly quite a bit more than I've ever cried during my adult life while not watching a television show.  

And yet during this final season of Lost, despite the brilliance of its execution and delivery, I found myself exceedingly dry eyed all throughout.  I'm not exactly certain why this was, although certainly my only complaint, the ham-handed handling of the deaths of Sun, Jin and Sayid, did remove what would have been the single greatest motivator for letting a couple of eye rivers flow.  Also, my blogging about the show has made me so analytical, and so obsessed with trying to remain analytical at all times, that I'm sure I was not always in the detached immersion state the show has so often prompted me to assume during previous years.  And so, while I was moved early and often this season, and while I found myself misty at various times all year, and especially during the finale, the waterworks just never flowed.

Then Nunu died.  

Nunu was Jorge Garcia's dog, and you probably saw Nunu during Everybody Loves Hugo (she was the cute little babe in Hurley's arm during the slide show presentation that opened the episode).  A great deal of my enjoyment of Lost this season came via Jorge's blog, which was often funny, and which always presented us with a thoughtful dissection, via podcast, of each and every episode the day after it aired.  Through Jorge's blog, I met Nunu long before Everybody Loves Hugo, and I feel for her immediately thanks to both pictures and descriptions of her deeds (the thing with the shoes rewrote the definition of the word funny).  Being a dog lover who has had anywhere from one to four of them living with me most of my adult life (although, oddly enough, not during my childhood), I'm just the sort of douche who would bond to a picture of an extremely cute dog I'm never going to actually see in  person.  After all, I can almost be moved to tears during those pet rescue commercials, so that's how over the damn bend I am for animals.

And then today I clicked over to Jorge's other blog and learned that Nunu had been struck by a car and killed on Jorge's last day in Hawaii.  And the dam broke.  I was just devastated.  All the pent up emotion I had been suppressing over the end of Lost finally came bursting through.  I cried for Nunu, and I especially cried for Jorge and Beth, as no one should ever lose a pet this way, and then I even began to cry for Jack and Sun and Jin and Sayid and Shannon and everyone else who had been dealt such a shitty deal over on Craphole Island.  All the emotions I had been subconsciously suppressing the past few months came out in spades.  Real people, pets, fictional characters, they all merged in my mind, and I cried.

I guess it shouldn't have surprised me, as the closest I came to really letting go during the finale was when Vincent came busting out of the bushes and lay down next to Jack as he lay dying.  Seeing Vincent doing something so amazingly dog-like (as opposed to fake Hollywood dog-like), just got to me more than Jack's actual death itself did.  I was so busted up that I had to make a joke about it to myself, turning Vincent into a hungry dog just waiting for Jack to hurry up and die already.  In fact, that was going to be the picture and caption I used on my first real post about the finale right up until I changed my mind moments before posting it.

You'll never read this, Jorge, but I am so sorry about what happened.  I've lost a number of pets well before their time, and it hurts as much as losing anything in your life, I know.  But I thank you for sharing Nunu with us while she was still here.  And I thank you for sharing yourself with us in a way that so few people of fame ever try to do, and which they couldn't do in a genuine manner even if they tried.  I always keep celebrity in a box, never letting it get out of control or affect my opinions of people I don't actually know, but you managed to break into that box.  You always felt like a friend I just hadn't actually met yet, as ridiculous as that may sound, and Nunu was a big reason why I felt that way.  In fact, meeting her was probably higher on my list than was meeting you.  Meeting you would have just been a gateway to getting to meet Nunu and watch her drag all your shoes under a table to keep you from going to work.  Here is to hoping we all see her again in the great sideways world in the sky.

Nunu Garcia Shady, rest in peace.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Justify my love

"Step into my parlor."

 Now that Lost has left the airways forever (let us observe a moment of silence, please), did you know the show that inherited the title of best show on television is currently airing on the same night?  That's right, you can get your fix of high comedy and drama, with a sweet drop of serialization thrown in, by tuning over to FX at 10 pm and checking out Justified.  If you have yet to partake of this fine sippin' whiskey of a show, pull it up On Demand, or look for repeats, or head on over to the official Raylan Givens Memorial Web Page, where you can watch back episodes online.

If you know and are a fan of Elmore Leonard (Get Shorty, Jackie Brown (ne' Rum Punch), Out of Sight, and many others), then all I have to say is that Justified puts Leonard on screen better than any film or television show has ever done before.  If you have no idea who Elmore Leonard is, however, then, boy, get yourself some schoolin'.  Time to head to the library and fill up on his back catalog, or at least check out each of the three fine movies made from his books which I listed in the parenthetical above.  And once you do that, then you can get to pullin' it up On Demand, or lookin' for repeats, or headin' on over to the official Raylan Givens Memorial Web Page, where you may have heard that you can watch back episodes online.

Yeah, did I happen to mention that I think you should watch this show?  Learn why after the break...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Taking a break from all my worries

"Man, I hope the shuttle brought some bitchin' sunscreen!"

No time to do much posting today.  Pa decided to run the horse and buggy into another one, and now he's in the hospital with a handful of broken ribs and a bruised ego.  Instead, I'll give you some pretty pictures.  The one above is from the web page of Thierry Legault.  It's a closeup of the International Space Station passing in front of the sun.  You can actually see the shuttle Atlantis docked on the left hand side.

Here is the full image.

To the upper right of the ISS you can see a group of sunspots.  Click on the photo for a better look at it, or head over to the web page of Legault for higher resolution images.  This photo was taken at 1/8000th of a second.  Putting the props in place and creating the background, however, took approximately five billion years.

Here is an image of the camera used to take this photo.

And you thought your Nikon was a pain in the ass to focus.

One more from M. Legault.  This one of of the planetary conjunction of 2002 as seen from Paris.  You can see the Moon, Jupiter, Venus, and some tall building in lights.

Au revoir.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Idiots come in all letter combinations

Are you mentally defective?  If so, you have a career waiting for you in network television.

I just run a rinky dink blog that is lucky to get 100 hits a day, and yet even I received enough questions about the moronic "they all died in the crash" theory to give me a moments pause.  And then I finally wrote an addendum to my first (or was it my second?) Lost recap to state that I categorically rejected the idea, insomuch as Christian Shepherd told us it was all real, and also because Damon and Carlton made sure to stick that white shoe (now years older and moldier) on the same bamboo shoot where we first saw it in the pilot.

Of course, none of this would have been necessary had not the fucking ABC nimrods-in-suits felt the need to lend a hand to the creative process of the Lost series finale, and so some dumb mother-humper who will remain nameless (and who will hopefully also soon be jobless) decided to add those creepy images of the beach and the wreckage we saw after the credits.  Unfortunately, Darlton, in their infinite stubbornness, couldn't bother to break radio silence to let people know to ignore those images.  Instead, ABC finally had to start putting the word out.

"The images shown during the end credits of the 'Lost' finale, which included shots of Oceanic 815 on a deserted beach, were not part of the final story but were a visual aid to allow the viewer to decompress before heading into the news," an ABC spokesperson wrote in an e-mail Tuesday.


This is what network execs think of you, peeps.  This is how stupid they think everyone else is     largely because that is how stupid they are.  They are making decisions like this largely for themselves, I believe.

Could have been worse, I suppose.  They could have added a "Countdown to V's mid-season premiere next January" clock to the entire finale.

I'm telling you, peeps, the people who work in network television are about as sharp as a sack of wet hammers.  As a collective group, network suits are the dumbest, sleaziest, most emotionally bankrupt people in the world.  And I am pretty sure that about 95% of them do not actually watch TV.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Where was Jessica Fletcher when we needed her?

The Mystery That Was The Mystery
(Or yet another Lost post)
 "So, where is that glass eyeball you wanted me to examine?"

Not sure when or if I'll stop thinking about Lost, and it just may be a very long time indeed before I stop writing about it.  Just re-watching the final 10-15 minutes last night made me far more emotional than a TV show ever should.  But while I plan on doing many more paeans to the show for many years to come (and especially over the next few weeks), let's pause for a moment before we get to my next Lost Recap, Part Two of Infinity, and let's talk about what the other side is saying.  Let's acknowledge that the finale worked not for everyone, and not at all for some.  Normally I have trouble seeing the other side of the coin in many arguments, but not here.  For those on the other side of the divide on this subject, I have much empathy.
Unless they act like dicks about it, in which case they can go screw.  But for those who are polite about their disappointment, let's talk.  (Hell, if you want to be rude, who I am kidding?  Go nuts!)

So let's talk about some of the problems people had.  I can go on and on about my love for this show and its finale, but some people had absolutely no love for it at all.  And to be fully honest here, the "story" part of the storytelling took a huge beating during this final season.  That was with a purpose, as I came to understand, but, nevertheless, part of telling a story is... well, actually telling a story.  There should be a beginning, a middle and an end to all things.  Lost nailed to the wall everything character-related, but they left behind the wreckage of an amazing mystery tale in their wake. 

For me, the characters were all I ever really cared about, and my great fear was that mythology would overtake this final season and overwhelm what I loved about the show.  That seemed to be threatening to happen at times, but it never really did, and the finale ultimately brought all the things I cared about full circle.

Or at least, it brought things full circle for me.  I realize that is not the case for everyone.

So, let's forget me for a second (yeah, I have a really hard time doing that, too). What about those people who had other valid interests; interests that were often left bleeding in a heap by the side of the road?

I can see why the people who followed the show primarily for the mystery were underwhelmed.  To begin with, there was good reason to focus primarily on the mystery, as for much of the time over the past six years the mystery was front and center, doing much of the show's heavy lifting, as the writers road the stationary bike of storytelling for part of the first three seasons (and even some of the last three seasons, as well).  Lost was a fabulously constructed tale of intrigue and back-story, and it will always be a shame that the writers did not feel they could (or had the time to) wrap up the mystery they had so painstakingly laid out over a very long time.  I understand that part of the point of the finale was to effectively make the mystery moot to a certain extent, as it did become clear to me that the story they were telling us was always and only about what effect that mystery was having on our characters, rather than being about the mystery itself.  And yet I cannot but help think that an opportunity was lost.  If they had managed to tie together all the disparate threads of the mythology they had so carefully constructed, it would have made for an epic accomplishment on the same order as that of the character story they did complete.  It would have been a metaphysical Murder, She Wrote for the ages.

So, in the end the mystery fell apart.  Its center did not hold.  Of that, there is no doubt.  And even I, a finale lover and major Lost apologist, do think there could have been time to address those more mundane parts of our six year story, especially since the show set its own agenda three years ago. 

And now, having seen the final curtain pulled away, it does make me curious as to why they ever strung out so many mysteries for the entire run of the show in the first place.  Considering the finale showed us that the mythology was never central to the story they were telling (thank God!), I sit here now confused as to why they didn't just start paying off much of it years ago.  What the whispers were; who Jacob was; how the Black Rock got there; Richard's back-story; the origin of the Smoke Monster; and the other handful of things that were addressed this season would have been better served had they come up organically throughout the run of the show, rather than searching for the odd place here or there in which to jam them into this final season (a final season which created and didn't really resolve a number of new mysteries, by the way).  And there were so many other of those type of mysteries layered into the show over the years, that they could have been paying them off in succession for all of the past three years without ever running out of them before they got to the end of the series.

Shoehorned into the final run of 18, the resolutions we did get often came off clumsy and/or dramatically inert, whereas they could have been addressed more interestingly and usefully had they been worked into the body of the show over the course of the final three seasons.  It would have spoiled nothing and harmed the dramatic tension not at all, for instance, if Richard's story had been told at any time during S4 or S5.  Ditto for Jacob's story, and for the introduction of Jacob and the MiB in the first place, for that matter, just name a few things I felt could have been paid off much earlier, and actually have improved the story in the process.

For example: Darlton have said they specifically withheld Across the Sea until the the penultimate-penultimate episode for a dramatic purpose, in order to let it inform the fireside chat we would see the next week in What They Died For.  They felt that trying to shorten and display that story in the context of another story (i.e., as flashbacks during, say, What They Died For) would have lessened its impact (with which I agree), and that to have told it much earlier would have meant that it would have not been fresh enough in viewers minds for it to have had the same impact that it did in What They Died For (and with that I completely disagree, and I think it's one of the only times Darlton ever underestimated their audience's collective intelligence).

And let's face it, the answer to things such as The Whispers or the Statue had no bearing at all on anything, and those answers could have come at any time and still provided the same impact.  In fact, I feel quite certain the answer to the Whispers would have had far more impact if we had learned what they were long, long ago.  Certainly it would have allowed the show to dramatize what The Whispers were in a far less clumsy manner than they ended up doing in S6.  If there was a nadir to this season for me, it was that scene, which meant nothing to the story at that point, and which meant nothing to me emotionally in the manner that it was dramatized.

And thus, while I care less than nothing about most of these minor mysteries, and while I even care very little anymore for some of the major mysteries which I have contemplated again and again over the years (such as the mystery of the Jacob's Cabin; or why The Others left Desmond in place and alone in The Swan, which was a place that was of paramount importance to the further existence of the island itself; or just what impact the Losties traveling back to Dharma times had on so many things, most especially on Ben himself), I can understand the disconnect many feel towards the show now.  If you were following the show for the mystery (and there was no reason you should not have been, since it was front and central so often for years), then obviously you might feel gypped.  I can empathize, even if I do not fall into your camp.

For me, if the mystery had been the be all, end all of why I watched, then I wouldn't still have been watching by this point, anyway (in fact, if all I really wanted were answers, I would have checked out during S3 right after an episode called Enter 77).  If I had followed this show as a mystery show, I would have abandoned it just as I did 24, which was a character-light (or character-non-existent) show I followed only for the enjoyable action-thriller elements of its first season.  When those elements became ridiculous (outright stupid, really) starting with the very first show in the second season, I bailed immediately.  I would go back each season to see what was happening, checking out the first few episodes, but the lack of character depth and the lazy action-thriller plotting always saw me checking out right away each and every year.

(Except for Day Itzin, which I enjoyed like a good soap opera and stayed with until its bitter end, only to check out again immediately at the beginning of the next season, which was off the charts terrible from the first hour).

But 24 never had characters like those on Lost, so I can see where a mystery-buff could have been strung along by Lost, thanks to the great character work going on around it all.  Even though it appeared that the mystery was never going to add up, there was so much more to the show that it was probably easy to suspend disbelief and hope that the show would tie it all up by the end of its run.  But in end, if that mystery was your major (or sole) interest, then, while I cannot understand why you hung in for six years in the first place, I can see how you would feel that the show really gave you pretty much nothing during this final season.

And in some ways, you got worse than nothing, because the finale made me see that the mystery was totally superfluous to the story they were telling, and so I am mightily confused as to why they ever let it become as convoluted as they did.  Even my own enjoyment of the final season was lessened every time they tried to shoehorn in another mystery-moment that it was obvious the writers cared very little about.  The Whispers, the statue, the backstories of Jacob and Richard, they were all so out of character and uninteresting thanks to the rushed nature of their presentation, and thanks to their revelation being withheld until almost the bitter end, when said revelation no longer had any major dramatic impact on the story    and in some cases barely had any impact on the plot they were supporting all these years.

So, yes, there were faults aplenty in Lost, as there have been in every great and complex work of fiction I've ever seen or read.  I find the faults to be understandable and minor, but I also think a fair number could have been avoided.  And I really cannot argue too much with people who can see nothing but those faults, as I do think Lost invited the consternation those fans feel about the way things played out in regards to the mystery.

In the end, however, I do think they crafted a final three and a half hours that put the mystery aspect of the show in its rightful place (and proved why it should never have been allowed to get so out of control in the first place), and they thankfully focused the story back on the only reason I ever became so invested in the show in the first place: the characters. 

In the end, it wasn't all perfect, but it was as close to it as any show I have ever seen.  And when it came time to fish or cut bait, I thank them for cutting the bait, as they should have, and focusing on the fish I cared about.  Time will likely bring to the surface for me more criticisms of the overall storytelling, but I hope also that time will dull those criticisms for those who are feeling them most strongly now.

I hope in some way station in the future, we all might meet in the middle.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lost Finale Recap: Part One of Infinity

This opinion is currently under construction.

I imagine I'll be writing about last night for the rest of my life.  And I would guess that I will not be alone in that.

I finally got to see The End.  It took much doing, an internet trick or two, and the ability to maintain a Zen-like calm in the face of many a technical glitch, but I did finally get to see it.  However, I was falling asleep through the whole thing, as it was near 2 a.m. before I could actually start watching it, so I'm not exactly ready to write the Recap to End All Recaps just yet, but I am getting there.

Seeing as it was nigh on 5 a.m. before I finished watching it, however, and seeing as I have had only about three hours sleep during the past 36 hours, why don't we just start working on it together?  This will be my first draft, with a lot of shit flung at the wall.  You can hit the comment section to tell me what sticks, and then I will endeavor to get more coherent about everything with every draft.

Just... wow.  That is all I have to say at the moment.  Just wow.  You'll have to give me a minute to work my way through it before I can give you more than that.  So let me digress for a moment on the circumstances that led to me watching the finale at three o'clock in the morning, and then we will get to the show itself.

And we will do all of that right after the jump (that's internet-speak for "click 'read more' below")...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Really early reaction to Lost finale: My cable went out!

 Time Warner CEO William "Boss" Tweed in repose.


   Direct transcription of my conversation with a Time-Warner Cable rep tonight

Not sure there is really anymore to say, other than there must be an excellent column about why people turn to internet piracy somewhere in my experience tonight.  For what seems the millionth time this week (but which is really only something like the forty or fiftieth thousand time this year), my Time Warner cable took a dump.  It started glitching about an hour from the end of the Lost special retrospective, and it just got worse straight up until the finale began.  By that time, every five seconds or so (or less!) a giant glitch would hiccup across the scene, jumping the sound and picture a second or two (or three or thirty) forward in time.  Someone turned the wrong donkey wheel   again!!!    down in the TimeWarner Bunker of Pure Genius, and then our cable television worked about as well as...

Well now, I'm at a loss to come up with a metaphor or simile for something as unreliable and rapacious as Time Warner Cable.  Not every day I am annoyed speechless.

Guess I'm a spectator until the show starts popping up online.  Thankfully that will be later tonight.  Until then, I'll sit here and think thoughts about TimeWarner, who just so happen to know the lines in my neighborhood are outdated and failing left and right, and yet whose employees still act surprised-surprised-surprised every time you call them for yet another service call.

Gotta love a monopoly. 

So, guess I won't be watching until the really wee hours for this one, and that I won't even be able to participate in the immediate aftermath here online.  Forget just not writing a recap tonight; I won't even be able to indulge in reading any comments this evening, or checking out any other recaps and participating in the online discussion.

Hey, no big deal.  Only been looking forward to this night for six years.  It's not as if some Time Warner executive vice president personally came over to my house and stabbed me in the eye with a rusty heroin needle.  It could have been a lot worse.

So you kids go enjoy your night out on the town.  Say hi to all the other geeks for me, and tell them I'll be thinking of them while I'm slamming my head against the wall here at home.  And I'll see all of you right back here in a day or so, when I get to actually write about The End, rather than writing about my quest to find a way to see The End.  (All of which will come sometime after having actually found a way to see The End, which, thanks to the magic of modern science, my faith that I will do so soon is as strong as the John Locke of Gilbratar). 

 Hey, I can do this all night, folks.  It's not like I have the series finale of my favorite television show of all time to watch right now, or like I have anything else to do after having cleared practically my whole day to do so.

(Deep breaths.  Very deep breaths.  And begin again).

You know, I have to say that the finale did appear to be very good in between the glitches.  I was into it, even if most of the time I wasn't exactly sure what was happening, or if there were people or animals on the screen. I could tell that RIchard was still on the blowin' shit up path, and that Ben said something to someone in one scene.  And I saw Sun and Jin get some baby love from Juliet, and I nearly cried thinking they were maybe going to get some happiness here in this sideways world.  

Well, I didn't nearly cry, actually.  I wanted to, but I was too pissed off and the frizzing screen was giving me a headache.  Ever try to cry like a 12-year old girl when you have a headache and are a 40-year old dude?  It ain't easy. 

I thought I saw some predictions looking both very good and very shaky.  And Sun and Jin got some love time, so yay!  At least I got that much before I gave up and decided to wait until I could find it online.  I am yet again a twelve year old girl for a short time. 

So you go play now, and I'll see you in a day or two.

The Finale Solution

Look, it's an enhanced Lost episode.

Remember yesterday when I said that networks are not burdened by an overabundance of brains?  Well, I didn't steal that line for nothing.   For every Lost that makes it on the air (that would be one), there are a million-bazillion stupid decisions made in order to keep everything else bland and boring.  Last night I was witness to a doozy of a decision called the Lost Enhanced Experience.  This was a show designed by a clueless PR department for no one in particular.  I want to thank ABC, because they kept me from staying up too late on Last Lostmas Eve, while also saving me two hours today, because they actually managed to make the Lost pilot, two of the finest hours of television ever produced, all but unwatchable.

How unwatchable?  Click 'read more' and find out...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Plan

Man plans, and God laughs

While I'm trying to avoid working on what has become an unwieldy beast of a Lost post (it was about the last episode, yet it has become something about everything), I thought I would drop in for a minute to give you my pre and post-finale plans of attack, so you could make fun of me when I don't come even close to sticking to them.

Pre-finale I want to finish the above mentioned meandering post about What They Died For, which I have been working on for two days and is turning into something I may die for, and get that up in time to for you to read it and be nice and bored before the action begins tomorrow evening.  But who knows, as this one has mushroomed from a blow-by-blow recap of an episode into a meditation on all things Lost that just so happens to make less and less sense each time I try and rewrite it.  Nevertheless, sometime before the finale airs tomorrow evening, I'll post the sucker.  I may just have to slap it up in all its unedited, grammatically null glory, but we'll see. 

Either way, something will be up here by tomorrow afternoon, because that is when I shut down the computer and immerse myself in about a dozen hours of Lost.  I'll watch the enhanced pilot episode (which airs tonight at 8:00) tomorrow via DVR.  I plan on starting said pilot episode around 5:00 pm, so that I can be finished in time to watch the 7:00 Lost retrospective, which then leads into the 9:00 series finale, appropriately title The End.  And then I will pop on here to put up a quick and dirty first impression.  Depending on how physically and emotionally spent I am by that point, quick and dirty could take anywhere from fifteen minutes to two hours, but let's pretend it's going to take about a half hour, and that it will be posted by midnight, which will be thirty minutes after the end of the The End.

Yeah, let's pretend that is going to happen.

Then I'm going to go back to the couch, which will likely still have a whole body impression left from the previous six to nine hours I've spent lying on it, and watch Jimmy Kimmel's Aloha to Lost special.  I should likely be exhausted enough by that point to find Jimmy Kimmel very funny indeed, so that should be a good time.  

And then I either go to bed or write all night.  I have no idea which it will be.  If I feel as I did following What They Died For, then I'll write all night.  That episode left me jazzed and full of energy.  But even if The End is two and a half times better (at two and a half times the length), it may turn me into a an emotional wet noodle.  If that happens, then I won't even start writing the true Recap to End All Recaps until Monday morning, and post it sometime Monday evening.  So, best case scenario: I stay up all night and you get something Monday morning.  More realistic scenario: I actually sleep a bit and give you something Monday night.

And then I will write intermittently about Lost for the rest of my life, so make sure and check back every once and a while for the next forty or fifty years.  You never know what you may get.

Finally, I heard Alan Sepinwall mention that he's heard the two and half hour finale is about 100 minutes of actual program.  If that is true, get ready for commercial overload.  Two and a half hours is 150 minutes, so a 100 minute episode means two commercials for every two minutes of Lost.  Basically, it is going to feel as if every other minute of the finale will be a commercial.  

By the way, it's been reported that ABC is charging $900,000 per thirty second add spot.  There will be 100 of those spots during the Lost finale, so even I know that equals ninety million bucks in add revenue.  For one finale of one show.

And you thought Hurley won the lottery!

Let no one kid you that networks are not still money printing machines.  They are in trouble because they are also money spending machines, but the money is still there to produce any kind of show they please.  The only reason there has been no next-Lost isn't because they cannot afford to produce one; it's because they don't even know how they produced one in the first place.  Keep in mind, the executive at ABC who came up with the idea for what he called "Cast Away - The Series," and who green-lit the eleven million dollar Lost pilot based on JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof's outline, was actually fired for doing so before said pilot even aired.

I think we can all agree that most networks are not burdened with an overabundance of brains.

So, before we begin this insane weekend excursion we are all about to enjoy together, let's say a little prayer for former ABC chairman Lloyd Braun, patron saint of all things Lost, and the man who each week we hear say, "Previously, on Lost."

 Bless you, Lloyd.  And may you find success in all things.

 (Lloyd Braun, previously of ABC, who greenlit Lost, Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, and was fired for it.  
He also developed The Sopranos with David Chase.)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

You can't hear me but I'm humming (and crying).

"Adagio, people! Adagio."

I have watched the Lost video podcasts all along, and I have enjoyed them enough to tell people they should check out the semi-regular sit-down schtick that Damon and Carlton put on every other week or so, but I'm not one to put out a lot of funny video links. I find that any video I could send to anyone, they probably have already had it forwarded to them forty-eleven times.  If I think something's worthwhile, like the good time that is Damon and Carlton's Martin & Lewis act, then I'll mention it and let you decide to check it out or not. 

But if you are reading this because you are into Lost enough to forgive my poor grammar (I just misspelled "grammar," for the bazillionth time, by the way, but the wavy red line of spell check saved me again), then you are so blinded by Lost-mania that you'll appreciate the first of what I hope will be very few videos posted for exhibition here in our crazy little corner of the internet.

If you have not seen the video linked below, and if you are fan of Lost, watch it now and thank me later.  The video gives us a peak at the Lost Live event, which was a night in celebration of the series; the fans; and, most of all, the wonderful music of Michael Giacchino, who finally won an Oscar this year for Up.

If you are a fan of Lost, and if you have been too busy trying to figure out if they are going to explain what was in Horace and Jacob's cabin to yet weep for the end of the show, then this should be a nice palate cleanser to prepare you for this Sunday's finale.  This should bring on the memories of things past, and maybe produce a tear or two. You'd have to be made of stone in order to make it through the back half of this five minute video without being moved at least somewhat. Or you would have to be someone who has never seen Lost, which you should correct immediately.*

* And by "correct immediately," I mean go watch Season One on DVD.  Do not try to begin watching with this Sunday's finale.  Go watch Season One, and never talk about what is going to happen with anyone who knows what is going to happen until you have gone through all six seasons.  You'll thank me.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Early Reaction to Lost 616: "Oh---hell yeah!"

Who was saying what now?

I love it when a plan comes together.

So, yeah, that whole not energized to write anymore feeling that I was talking about earlier    yeah, that lasted all of nine hours.  Lost returned with a big old bang tonight, ripped me bodily from my stupor, beat me upside the head like Ben Linus' redheaded step child, and I saw flashes before my eyes.  I was an active participant in the proceedings tonight, as I strained forward in my seat, begging Ben to come up with something when he led Locke into his closet.

"C'mon, Ben! Think of something," I said-yelped.  "Pull a Ben on him!"

But that's not all.  I also got verbal when Ben's beating by Desmond clicked in my head an instant before it happened.  I called out to Mrs. Schmoker, "Ben's going to get his ass kicked and remember.  Getting his ass kicked is Ben's Constant!"

Mrs. Schmoker just looked at me.  She's patient that way.

I was more involved with Lost tonight than ever.  More involved than I have been while watching television since Firefly went off the air more years ago than I am willing to concede by Googling it.  When Jack and Locke were talking in the office, I was quite literally straining forward on the edge of the pillow I was laying against on the couch.

All that hesitancy that had built up over the last two sub par episodes... well, all that hesitancy went from zero to sixty in about zero.  I was hooked from the word go, and I thought I saw a plan unfolding before my eyes.  I thought I saw the Sideways World suddenly become a castaway idea.  Or at least a Desmond and the castaways who are left idea.  Maybe not Jack's idea, as he drank Jacob's kool-aid in a big bad way.  But maybe Jack's in on it, too.

Dare I say it, but is my Desmond the Fail Safe theory actually correct?  Are Widmore and Eloise in fact working to thwart Nameless once and for all?  Is the Sideways World actually the plan?  Did they figure out a way to win there, and then live on in this changed world that THEY created?  Rather than the Sideways World being the tragedy they must reverese after Nameless creates it, did they in fact create the Sideways World as their way out of both Nameless and Jacob's plans?  Nameless wants to destroy the Island at the end, but did the castaways find a way to destroy it themselves, and in such a way that it destroys or traps Nameless forever?

Or are they just prepared for the Sideways World, and that is where the battle will end?

And, man, it's just nuts that I have to call him Nameless.  They really whiffed on that one, I'm here to tell you.  Writing about Lost and trying to figure out what to call the Man in Black Who Is Jacob's Brother and Also is Now Locke and Smoke, Too each and every time you write a new sentence is a pain in the butt.

OK, digression much?

Forgive me, I'm just excited.  I'm writing in circles, so right now, that's my take.  I actually felt the world flash before my eyes while Jack and Locke were talking in his office, as if this is what the castaways were counting on---their ability to remember and fight back in another life, brother, thanks to Desmond special nature.  Perhaps they are even doing it in defiance of whatever Jacob's secret evil plan is.  Or perhaps it is, as Widmore and someone else called it, a secret fail-safe plan.

You know, if the Sideways is indeed going to be where the Series ends    and my first reaction to tonight is, yes, that is where it will end    then that doesn't negate any of the sacrifice they made in the Island World if they still end up dead in the Sideways World.  There is still a battle to come there.  There's a big fight coming, and it appears to be one for which Hurley is now helping Desmond prepare, possibly with the aide of Widmore and Eloise by now.  And Kate and Sayid have just been drafted.

And Ben is awake!  And, holy crap, was it riveting watching him watch himself in that mirror after he woke up?  It was hard to tell just how fully awake he was, but when he started sneering at the school nurse, I said, "THAT'S BEN!"

Mrs. Schmoker just stared at me.

So... or not.  Maybe all those letters I've written up there have been put in an order that is way off the mark.  If it is, how cool is it that Lost can still make me look the other way one episode from the end?  But I don't think I'm looking the wrong way.  Have to think about it some before I come back later with actual coherent thought (or at least what passes for it around here).

What about you?  While I'm off breaking it down and thinking about it, you tell me.  I appreciate the "atta boy" comments, but I'd love to hear what you think.  Did you see what I saw?  Did it rock for you?  Or am I way off base, and you have a much better theory?  Or maybe you thought it sucked?

Well, way off base or not, it rocked.  If you thought it sucked, you can try and talk me into seeing it your way, but you will probably be talking to a brick wall.

Consider the landing gear deployed and the final approach commencing.  In my eyes, a landing is seemingly ready to be stuck.

(EDIT: Wed Morning---I awoke even more certain that the destruction of the Island is something the Losties planned on dealing with before it ever happened.  Either they are going to beat Nameless to the punch, or else Nameless is going to destroy the Island without understanding that is exactly what newly crowned Jackob and his castaway council want him to do.  Jackob and the rest of our heroes have a plan, and that plan ain't to be the Island guardian forever and a day.  Jackob will be as different from Jacob as Jacob was from momma.  Jackob and his friends are going to plug the Island once and for all, and they have a plan for waking up in the Sideways World and taking Smokey out there.  I will have much, much more later on.  Maybe tonight; maybe tomorrow.  Real work must take precedence for a bit, but I have been working on a bit-by-bit recap that goes over my crazy half-epilogue, half-apocalypse theory of everything.  Also, I've been so caught up in mythology that I took little time to go over all the wonderful character moments from last night.  I will not forget those moments in my full recap.  Check back this evening or tomorrow.  In meantime, tell me what you think in the comments below.  They are open and not moderated, so you can call me a douche as often as you like, and you don't need an account or have to sign in.  Just post away at your leisure.)

The way-ay-ting is the hardest part.

"Guys, where are we????"

With five days to go now, I find myself in a quandary.  When it comes to Lost, my enthusiasm has not waned in the slightest (even though the past couple episodes have been sub par and sub-sub par), but my desire to write and write and write has deserted me.  I'm sure that will change somewhat during the hour between 9 and 10 this evening (EST), but the idea of doing a long post designed to suss out every last detail of every last prediction I could make fills me with . . . nothing.

This is a not a dis to the show, but rather the natural progression of things.  With each passing week, less and less have I felt the need to figure it all out.  I'm still dying to know (in fact, even more so), but I'm no longer dying to explain it all before it happens (as if I ever could).  I just want to let it wash over me, then post a reaction to it after the fact.  Right now I'm very much "after the fact" about everything Lost-related. 

And you can learn how after the fact after the jump...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Wait for it...

Can you spot the gay one?

Apparently Ramin Setoodeh, critic for the Third Reich's most popular  weekly magazine, Newsweek, can spot a homo from the back row of the theater.  Mr. Setoodeh, himself a gay man (but apparently not one dealing very well with that fact), wrote a homophobic piece of drivel in Newsweek's pages this past week claiming that gay actors (or at least the ones he knows about) could not convincingly play straight characters.  It was hard for me to understand exactly what Herr Setoodeh's point was, but it seemed more along the lines of "I can't get it out of my head that so and so is a homo when they are acting, because I'm really hung up on sexuality," rather than "So and so's homosexuality is actually coloring his or her performance."   So it actually seemed as if Newsweek were allowing their resident self loathing weasel the opportunity to broadcast his neurosis (or perhaps psychosis), as opposed to their actually believing they were publishing a serious critique of a real phenomenon. 

But I'm having all kinds of fun critiquing Der Newschweek and their cynical, calculated, poorly reasoned homophobia, and you can join me after the break.  Just click 'read more' below.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Placeholder

 "Can you believe I turned out to be a such a dick???"

Having not been online for the past week    TimeWarner Cable sucks balls!    I feel an obligation (or perhaps a deep seated pathological need, for which I should receive counseling) to put up something about Across the Sea, the latest episode of Lost, this very minute.

But I am truly at a loss as to what it is I should put up.

Never before has an episode of any show so confounded me, both for good and for ill, and so the idea of doing a long dissection of such a densely packed episode fills me with trepidation.  Others have done so, and you can find several of those others via the links to my favorite Lost recappers which I provide on the left side of this page, but I don't simply want to write another liked/didn't like piece on Across the Sea (or, as I like to think of it, Happy Freaking Mother's Day).  Instead, I would like to come to a somewhat more definitive conclusion about the piece before I go hog wild writing sheafs and sheafs about something I know deep down I did not quite understand.

But, you know, I'll probably write sheafs and sheafs, anyway, after the jump...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

From Beyond

No, I didn't die.  But my internet connection did.  It went down Sunday night, and the modem has been sitting there stubbornly not blinking at me ever since.  Expect a very vitriolic Time Warner-sucks-eggs-the-size-of-Uganda-post coming very soon.

But it's up now, although my tech guy assures me that he's going to be pulling everything back off line for what will supposedly be "the ultimate super-duper solution" in a few minutes, so I'm taking those few minutes to let you all know that I ain't dead, and I will be back (hopefully ) soon with all kinds of chocolatey Lost goodness (although at the moment I don't have a lot of hot chocolate love for Across The Sea or Mother's Freaking Day or whatever the frak they called that last Lost episode---but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt since my cable television also cut out on me part way through the episode, and it will not be until tonight that I will be able to watch it in it's entirety).

Ok, he's telling me that he's cutting power now, so I'm going to have to hit "publish post" right the frak n...

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Dead is dead, and that's how it should be.

 ("Yo, Jack, would you put this in the sub for me?")

It ain't the death.

As Lost has been winding to a close these past three months, there has been an internet war (although a semi-polite one) breaking out between those who thought happy endings were coming all around, and those who felt death and destruction was inevitable.

I've never been in the happy ending camp.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Early Reaction to Lost 614: Fine Wine?

The return of Lost tonight, following a self imposed six year mid-mid season hiatus (or so I have heard tell online), was...

Yeah, I'm not really sure what that was.

I think I'm going to have to let this one marinate, lest I give it the same short shrift that causes me so much aggravation when others do it.  It makes no sense to me to give anything an instant negative review, but giving an instant negative reaction to a single episode of a television show I actually love and follow regularly seems especially pointless and self important. 

But after the break, I'll probably go ahead do something at least partially pointless.  Click 'read more' to find out what that is.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Welcome to Smodcast: Live and in the nude!

So, Tuesday night Mrs. Schmoker and I braved the unexpected frigid cold to go and see Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier do a live version of their weekly podcast, Smodcast, in a dingy pit called Peabody's in Cleveland.  It was a crazy, fun, occasionally frustrating, and unexpectedly intimate evening.   The boys were in fine form, and the intimate setting (only 100-150 seats set up in what looked to normally be a headbanging dance club) made for one of the cooler experiences I have ever had.  And I got a sex toy in the bargain.

You would think that my having a blog and all now, I would have snapped some pics (I was in the front row for the second show, after all), but I didn't even think about it.  I even left my phone at home.  I've never been a big picture taker, preferring memories to photos anytime, but after the jump I will drop a pic or two of the gifts Kevin and Scott gave to my wife and I (along with about a dozen other attendees).  Just remember, if you click 'read more,' it's definitely NSFW.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Live Nude Smod: It's better than '80's Night'!

And we're back!

Taking a break from Lost today to work up a post on attending Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier's Live Nude Smod tour last night at Peabody's in Cleveland (which included me winning one of the six Fleshlights the boys raffled off     and my wife getting smacked in the face with a Pink Limpy thrown by Mosier    and our running for the exit when Peabody's made Kev and Mos get off the stage at 11:30 so they could start 80's Night).

If you have never listened to Smodcast or used a Fleshlight, then come back later for a full description of the zany, scatological (both in content and location), freezing cold fun provided by Smith and Mosier live and in the nude (nudity not included).  A review of the Fleshlight itself will be, ahem, forthcoming.

My carpal tunnel is better today, so I'll have a description coming up later tonight.  In the meantime, listen to Smodcast 15, The Pretty Good Worker, for an instant lesson in how funny and offensive (and offensively funny) this weekly podcast can be.

Warning: Not Fucking Safe for Fucking Work

Monday, April 26, 2010

A pain in the...

Having a little fun with carpal tunnel this week.  Since Lost is off, and since work is crazy, I'll be paying scant attention to the blog this week.  I will, however, be posting something; just don't know what or when.  But I will definitely be doing some big posts before the next Lost episode airs next week.  They are already in the can, but they need to be edited for at least haphazard punctuation and sanity.

So, if you are new here, please read on, because there are a shit-ton of crazy Lost posts from the past month and a half which will maybe make you think, but which should definitely make you laugh (maybe at, maybe with     your call!).  But if you are a regular    (both of you)    looking for something new, check back in a few days.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

No time for a real post today, but a guy calling himself Fiftypence over on the Zap2It board where I steal my best Lost ideas (hey, I'm a comedian, not a thinker) dropped the idea that the MiB moved to the Sideways World in the form of Jack's son, David.


Ok, so Jack's son is really the only major sideways character (major in terms of importance, rather than screen time) who never existed in the Island world (at least as far I can remember without doing more digging than I have time for today).  So, there is that.  And Fiftypence also pointed out that, in the most recent episode, The Last Recruit, there was a Jack, Claire, MiB scene on the Island that was shortly followed by a Jack, Claire, David scene in the Sideways World.  So, there is that.

So, let me refer back to the biblical stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Esau which have provided so much fodder for all us crazy Lost theorists over the years.  Abraham was ordered by God to kill his son Isaac as a sacrifice.  Old Abe didn't want to do it, but he eventually decided he must.  Just before he did so, however, the Angel of the Lord stopped him, and God allowed the sacrifice of a ram in Isaac's place.  Isaac then went on to father Jacob and Esau, those bad brothers who have lent so much back story to our Island Jacob and MiB.

So, if we go ahead and assume David actually is the MiB in mortal form, is all of this leading us up to Jack being told he must kill David in order to fix everything?  Is that the sacrifice Jack must make to set right what once he got so very wrong?

 Since Abraham (Jack) ended up not having to kill Issac (David) in the biblical story, this analogy does not seem to bear out completely.  For if our David really is the MiB in doe-eyed, mushy-faced, teenager's clothing, then I don't see how his getting a last minute reprieve will work out for our story.  But it is an interesting idea, no?

By the way, the name of Isaac's mother: Sarah.

Again, all credit to Fiftypence, who peaked my insanity with this idea in the first place.  And some credit to Doc Jensen, who has been writing about Abe, Isaac, Jake and Essy for years.

Oh yeah, and credit to God for inspiring the whole bible thing, too.

Not sure I really buy this theory, but it is a cool idea.  So, what do you think, peeps?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Early Reaction to Lost 613: Did I even have one?

Lost 613, The Last Recruit, seemed to me the ultimate set up episode.  I've never said that about an episode before, as every time I've ever heard someone else refer to an episode in that fashion ("They were just moving pieces around the Island, getting them in place for the next episode"), it always bugged me.  I thought it was the coward's way of saying you didn't like an episode.  And recently a lot of people used that very description to impugn one of my favorite episodes of the season, The Package.

But now, with only five hours left, for the first time that is exactly how I feel.  A lot of pieces got moved around the board, while we got a few new answers and a few new questions, but nothing was extremely revelatory, and intense character development was put on hold for a week (or two, since Lost is off next week).

I'm going to need to watch it again before I mess with any sort of major recap, but here are a number of things that hit me like a kiss from a sonic fence...(just click 'read more')

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Two Questions

Time is fleeting today, so let me ask all of you two Lost related questions:

1.  Will the show end in the Sideways World or the Island Universe?

Despite barely changing my main theory over the course of the season, I am starting to believe that the ending will be very different from what I had been imagining.  I think perhaps the War of the Island will end in the Sideways World.

I had previously thought the sideways Losties would wake up, then they would have to run with the ball right up until they fixed whatever it is they needed to fix (what that may be, I still have no idea), then   POOF    bye-bye Sideways World, and hello to a giant re-do in the Island Universe.  Whatever went wrong on the Island and created the Sideways World in the first place, the Losties would get a second chance to fix it thanks to the efforts of their Sideways selves, who would, following their awakening by Desmond, sacrifice their very existence in order to stop Smocke from escaping and creating the Sideways World in the first place. 

Now I am not so sure.  Now I think that perhaps the end game will play out in the Sideways World, with the Losties winning out over not just Smocke, but also Jacob and the Island, too.  Then perhaps the ones who survive will live out their lives in some sort of merged version of the two universes    one where they remember the Island and all that happened there, but one where that Island is still sitting on the bottom of the sea.

Jacob said he wanted the world to be a place where humans did not need his help, and maybe that is what the Sideways World will be once all is said and done. 

More detail on this in another post, but please use the comment button below to let me know where you think the show will end, and why you think that.

And now on to...

2.  I have a vision of John Locke in recovery at the hospital.  He is wiggling his toes for Dr. Jack, when    BOOM     both of their memories come flooding back.

For Locke, he needs a recreation of that "miracle moment" when he looked down his prone body after the 815 crash and saw his toes wiggling for the first time in four years.  Much like the image of Charlie Pace underwater and pressing his hand to a window first sparked Desmond's memories, seeing his toes wiggling again might just be what sparks John Locke to wake up.  I would not be surprised to see that exact shot from the pilot recreated, with the camera at ground level and looking up along John's body from behind his feet.

For Jack, it could then be a recreation of  his "miracle moment," which was the one between he and Sara, his ex-wife, when he thought she was paralyzed forever after he could not "fix" her during surgery.  Jack came back from his run in the stadium (where he just happened to meet Desmond for the first time, and which we may also see recreated) to see Sara wiggling her toes.

John Locke's toes may not be as cute as Sara's, but recreating that "miracle moment" might just bring it all back for Jack, too.

It's not all lost-loves and near-death-experiences that will bring back your memories.  Sometimes it is just seeing something you have seen before... something from another life, brutha.

So, what do you think of these mini-theories?  Sound off in the comments below by clicking "comment" and leaving me your two pennies.  The comments are wide open, with no restrictions, log-in, password, or verification required.  All you need to comment is an opinion and an attitude.

So, show me some attitude.

(I'll be back tonight around midnight EST with an early reaction to 613, The Last Recruit, and then I'll be back tomorrow with a full recap.)

Monday, April 19, 2010

The lost season of Lost

I'm about two-thirds of the way through my re-watch of season three of Lost, and the two things I have noticed and am working up a new post about are:

1.  Eloise Hawking flashes just like Desmond, and she and Charles have been running their long con on poor Des at least since the day he met Penny at the abbey in Catch-22

I was hipped to the idea that Eloise and Charles were conning Desmond during this season's Desmond-centric episode, Happily Ever After.   It was their attempt to motivate Desmond to wake up (rather than really trying to get him to back off), and with that idea in hand so much else becomes clear.  In Flashes Before Your Eyes and Catch-22, you can see that Ellie and Charles were working on Desmond (to get him to the Island, and beyond) from the very beginning.  The notion of sacrifice is woven throughout those Desmond-centric episodes, as are clear signs that Des is being manipulated by Ellie and Charles.

But most of all what I saw was that Eloise "flashes" just like Desmond.  I didn't fully comprehend what was happening to Des back then, and we had never met Eloise before, but now you can see that she knows things that could not have come from Daniel's journal, or from Jacob or the MiB.  She was acting just like Desmond would act in the following episodes as he tried to save Charlie's life again and again    all while trying to piece out what was happening to him.  Everything we saw from Desmond as he became a master-flasher, so to speak, were things we first saw from the original "flasher," Eloise Hawking.

2.  Season three was criminally underrated by all (myself included).  In addition to really laying the foundation for all the mythology that would unfold and deploy in the following seasons, the third season of Lost had some of the most profound and affecting character-centric episodes of the entire series run.

A bonus #3:  Ben was never quite as evil as we thought.  Knowing what we know now, we can see that Ben was under orders to keep Juliet on the island.  Obviously he loved her (or thought he did), and so it was something he was at first happy to do, but later we could see (through today's eyes) that he really did love her and felt a heaping butt-load of regret over what he had to do.  There is a scene between Ben and Juliet in Ben's kitchen during One of Us where you can see that Ben not only loves Juliet, but that he would have let her go were it up to him.  Watching it now I could tell that Ben was simply following orders he simply did not understand---Jacob's orders---and it was a heavy burden to bear.

In fact, Jacob is all over S3.  His mantra of non-involvement falls apart when re-watching that season.

More (in more detail) to come before tomorrow's show.

Friday, April 16, 2010

"I've got a theory" - Buffy Summers

So, I was hanging out over on Ryan McGee's blog  at Zap2It (because, you know, that is what internet pervs do    we hang out at blogs, cruising chicks electronically).  And while I was there, I saw a post from someone named "I Like Kate."

Now, don't freak out, because I know right away you're saying to yourself, "She likes Kate?  What is she, crazy?"

But it's cool.  Trust me.  One day I'll do a post on why Jack and Kate were purposely made to be so unlikeable, and then you'll go, "Oh, hey, well now I kind of like Kate, too.  And maybe one day I'll even like Jack."

So anyway, ILK had a theory.  Her theory (and it could be "his theory" or "Its theory," but I'm going with "her theory") was that Eloise Widmore (ne' Hawking) was, in fact, not worried about any sort of violation at all when she found out Desmond was waking up.  ILK thought that Ellie had staged that whole kerfuffle with the guest list and Penny's name all for Desmond's benefit, in order to give him a little push.

So, let's think about that.  Why would Ellie let her son get together with Charlie Pace in the first place if she were worried about "violations"?  Why would she let her husband get involved with all of it, too, knowing full well that he may send his #1 fix-it man, Desmond David Hume, around to help out?  And then, when Des did start poking his head into the guest list, why would Ellie then take him aside and say just enough to stir him up and peak his curiosity?

Well, she wouldn't.  Not if she were really trying to keep a lid on everything.

But she would have done all of that if she wanted to push Desmond into fulfilling whatever his part of the equation just may be.  And now that I think of it, so would Charles.  And so would Daniel.

Were those three running a long con on Desmond in the Sideways World?  Were they all working together to push Desmond into doing exactly what he is now doing?

Yeah, I think so, too.

I never bought Ellie as a Smokey accomplice, which is the popular theory that has been gathering steam out there in the ether.  I thought   if anything   maybe love of son might have caused her to decide to step out of the game once they got to the sideways universe and she found she had him back alive, but I did not really believe it.  And, as I reported below, no less than Damon and Carlton poo-pooed that idea in their podcast yesterday.

And I never bought that what we saw in Happily Ever After proved that Widmore was "in the dark" about what was going on.  He didn't show any hint of knowing anything, but the absence of proof is not proof itself of anything.  And the decorations in Charles' office sure reeked of knowledge of something.  They sure seemed designed to push someone's psychological buttons.  And the whole spiel about having "no attachments, no entanglements, the perfect life" was just a little too on the nose, wasn't it?  Now that this idea has hit me, all that little rap from Charles sounds like now is a carefully designed push for Desmond.  It was Charles saying, "Remember when you did have a family, Desmond?  And remember how much you loved it?"

The long con is a Lost staple.  It was an episode title in S1, and it's been a thematic and dramatic staple that has recurred each and every season.  Honestly, it is something we all should have been looking for when trying to figure out where this season was headed.

I think "I Like Kate" should start her own blog, or perhaps take over mine.  Because I'm sold.  This is one of those "I'll believe it until it's proven wrong" moments. 

And, yeah, I like Kate.  So what?