The Weirdness is back!

If anyone is interested, there is a batch of new O’Grady episodes slowly creeping onto The N (which is what they call Noggin at night, apparently).

I enjoy watching O’Grady, even though the episodes can be hugely hit or miss. I’ve tried turning a lot of people on to the show and found that either people love it from the start or they think it stinks on ice. There seems to be no middle ground.

O’Grady is produced by the same braintrust that gave us the far more entertaining series, Home Movies. One day if my lotto numbers ever come in, or an old lady runs over my foot in the parking lot of Wal-Mart and I get me some insurance money, I intend to buy the series on DVD. Rumor has it that one of the boxed sets comes complete with a commemorative Coach McGuirk whistle.

Speaking of boxed sets, my amazing wife bought me the first two seasons of Titus. We greatly enjoyed that series when it was briefly on Fox.

So much to watch, so little time. What’s a body to do?


Jack Bauer is safe for another 72 Hours

Watching television was a lot more fun back before I could tell time and I understood the concept of what a reoccurring character was.

Back when I was a kid (after I’d come in from playing with my dog Rags out in the alfalfa fields) there was a time when I faithfully and effortlessly slipped into the reality of television. There was no second-guessing what was happening—it was all about being in moment, baby—and it was great!

I would be squatting on the floor, enthralled in an episode of the Wild Wild West and shout out, “Jeepers, Rags! There’s no way Jim West and Artemus Gordon are going to be able to defeat Miguelito Loveless’ mechanical shark! They’re goners for sure!” I would sit there shocked and dismayed by the inevitable fate of Jim and Artie, but then after the commercial break I’d see my heroes miraculously escape (with the help of a miniature gramophone Jim had in a hollow boot heel and a diamond-tipped nose picker Artie had up his sleeve).

I’m pretty certain that by the end of the first season of the show I’d figured out that Jim and Artie were always going to somehow escape. If James T. West died, they would have to change the name of the show and everything. So from that point on if I watched an episode of Mannix, or any show that was named after the lead character, there was a reasonably good chance that they were going to survive whatever threat they faced. The same held true for shows like Lost in Space or Land of the Giants. If a character had been on the show for the past eight or nine episodes, it was more than likely they were going to survive the current episode.

Another nail in the coffin of my television watching innocence was learning to tell time, and utilizing this new skill while watching a show. This was a horrible thing. Say for example I was watching an episode of Mission: IMPOSSIBLE. I watch as the team is in motion and the mission that had been thoughtfully planned out is nearly complete. That’s cool. But then I look at the clock and see there’s still twenty minutes until the show is over. Well, now I know that something is going to go wrong and the mission is going to start to fall apart. The team will have to think fast and pull together to stop the evil monarch from plundering the hidden treasure buried under the church tower. The episode is still enjoyable, but imagine how much better it would have been if I didn’t see the bump in the road coming along. There I am saying, “They’ve done it again, Rags. Another successful mission under their belts for the gang…hey, wait! That wasn’t supposed to happen! What’s going on, Rags? I never saw that twist coming, did you boy?”

We’re big fans of the television series 24 in this household. Early on, during the first or second season, there was talk that Kiefer Sutherland thought doing the show and actually having a career was too demanding, so he was only going to do a certain number of seasons. Ever since then there’s always been industry chatter that the producers might end the show by actually killing Jack Bauer off. He dies saving the world. Something big like that. It would be a ballsy way to end things and there wouldn’t be a dry eye in the house.

But now the official word is that Kiefer has agreed to be on the show for three more seasons. Seventy-two hours of action for a cool forty million bucks, plus a production deal. Good for him, of course. Nice work if you can get it, and all that, but at the same it means we know for a fact that Jack will survive any and all situations he gets himself into for the next three years.

I complain, yet I’ll be there every Monday night. I have to be. Chloe is tracking my movements on satellite. She’d downloading my coordinates to your Palm Pilot even as you read this.


E for Entertainment

Valarie and I finally got around to seeing V for Vendetta this weekend and we were both alarmed by how much we enjoyed it. We were both half-expecting it to suck like a Dyson.

In the ten years or so since I last read it, I somehow managed to forget huge portions of the comic story (Years of diet soda have left my brain is stewing in cocktail of Saccharien and Aspertine). This didn’t prove to be detrimental to my enjoying the movie.

I guess if you’re a diehard fan of the Alan Moore/David Lloyd comic and can’t stand to see it defaced in any way, you should keep as far from it away as you can, but if you’re looking for a stylized movie with a point of view it’s a fun way to waste two and a half hours.

Just like the filmed version of the Constantine comic, I enjoyed V for Vendetta for what it was and the story it told. I don’t feel compelled to hold the movies up to the original source material for comparison. One doesn’t impact the other, in my mind. I still enjoy reading Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing comics, and I saw BOTH of the movies.

(And please, someone remind me of how open-minded I am when the Iron Man movie finally makes it onto the big screen, because-as-God-as-my-witness if they don’t develop the live action/animation technology needed to bring the Gene Colon comics to life, or if the helmet comes off and Tom Cruise’s head is inside it, there will be all kinds of hell to pay!)