Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Get out and vote

It's election day here in Newfoundland and Labrador. I've heard people say that they aren't going to bother to vote. If you tell me that you're not going to take the time to vote, expect a lecture. I'll tell you my old line--that people fought and died for our right to vote. Oh, I know the guy in the foxhole in WWII might not have been thinking of whether or not we could mark a X in 2007 but still.

It wasn't just back then either. People are fighting and dying now for the right that you may take for granted, the simple ability to be able to voice your opinion about who runs our government, or to have the right to voice any opinion at all. In Afghanistan our soldiers are dying so the Afghan people can have it. And what about Burma? People have been standing up and demonstrating, knowing that they may get beaten to death or mowed down in the street just for that right that you don't want to take the trouble to exercise because maybe you feel that all the politicians are the same or because you think your vote won't make much of a difference. They die or are beaten and/or jailed just for the hope that one day they could do what you don't want to bother doing.

It takes guts to do that, to stand firm in front of an army of soldiers who will kill you for expressing your opinions, to stand in front of a tank in Tienanmen Square just so you could one day have a voice about who is in power. It takes maybe a half an hour of your time to get out and vote. Now go do it.

End of lecture.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Fall Season (or I watch way too much TV)

I'm trying to be very picky with new shows on TV this year, especially with the hour long dramas since they take up the most time. So a show has to really grab me to get added to the list of things I already watch. The list, excluding new fall shows is:

Survivor (on the bubble)
Ugly Betty
Grey's Anatomy
Desperate Housewives
The Simpsons
The Family Guy
Boston Legal
(I may have forgotten a couple of others too but this is most of them. Oh, and Coronation Street, of course)

New shows off the list:

Big Shots
This is supposed to be Desperate Housewives for men and I heard the actors say in the promos that it's for men who want to see themselves on screen, to see what it's really like to be a man. So to be a man you have to be a skank, a cheater, a devoted husband who feels that because he is married the good life is over or a less rich guy whose wife has an affair with his boss. Oh and you have to belong to a fancy country club too and sit around and talk about your feelings. I've never seen men talk like these but, then again, I'm not in with the country club crowd. See, here's the problem with a show that men can really see themselves in. Real men either don't want to watch it because they don't want to see shows where men talk about the feelings and their penises all the time (my God, was this written by a three-year-old who just discovered the word?) or, if they do relate and want to watch it, they're going to spend their time saying to their wives, "no, I don't think like that; no I love being married and I think it's fulfilling"; etc. Basically it just doesn't click and I'm not sure where the show's audience will be. It probably won't be men and I think it won't be women either so what's left? Oh, that's another word they liked to throw around a lot: "tranny". How many times was that in the episode? And if that's the audience you're going for, try the word "transgendered" because "tranny" is so not politically correct.

This one is not off the list entirely as in I won't watch it anymore, just not on the must-see list. I think you can skip some of the episodes and be fine. I love time travel stories but this one seems a bit moralistic. The only redeeming feature is the mystery of the dead girlfriend that seems to be guiding the Joruneyman through time. Other than that, not anything that really grabs me.

Not fair really to say it's not on the list because I didn't watch it. Just not interesting to me at all.

The Big Bang Theory
Again, didn't even bother to try.

I was going to watch it but when it premiered I decided not to bother. Maybe in reruns I'll get into it.

On the bubble (I am intrigued enough to give it another week or two but am not certain about them)

Private Practice
Things didn't look good for this one when a kind of prelude to it was shown on Grey's Anatomy last year. Addison was never my favourite character on Grey's but just when I started to like her, they whipped her off to LA to hang out with a bunch of doctors with issues. But I gave it a chance in premiere week, mostly because Amy Brennan who plays a psychiatrist with mega issues herself is on it. I love Brennan and wanted Judging Amy to stay on forever so when I saw her return to TV I was happy. The premiere gave some depth to some otherwise shallow characters (but there is plenty of shallow to go around) and one part had me bawling but that isn't saying much since I have been known to bawl at a Canadian Tire commercial. I will give it another try this week.

Bionic Woman
I don't know but it grabbed my interest. There were lots of questions left unanswered in the premiere. That and the reluctance of the bionic woman will bring me back another week. Oh, but I miss those tacky sound effects from the 70s version when the bionics kick in.

This is a lot of show in an hour but, as much as I had looked forward to seeing it, I kind of meandered around the house and puttered on the computer while it was on so it didn't really hold my interest the way it should have.

Dirty Sexy Money
I didn't have much interest in this one but it pulled me in. Peter Krause is, well, the wonderful Peter Krause. He can make funeral homes interesting, surely he can do the same with dirty, sexy money. The characters are quite cliche but done right, with the just enough tongue in cheek, I can like that. One exception is Tripp Darling, played by Donald Sutherland. He is brilliant and understated and so not like I expected the patriarch to be. Plus he is Donald Sutherland so that's a good thing.

Back to You
I thought I would like this too. How could it miss with Patricia Heaton and Kelsey Grammer? I don't think it has missed but it's not Grammer or Heaton drawing me in. Nope, it's the secondary players in the cast. It's the sexy weatherwoman trading barbs with the poor put-upon field reporter and sportscaster. I find myself wanting to get away from the stars and back to the other cast members. That can't be good. It reminds me of WKRP, in a way. Andy Travis wasn't what I watched for. It was Les Nessman and Johnny Fever.

Still up to try:

Doubt I'll even try.


Pushing Daisies
Looks interesting. I think I'll give it a shot.

New shows for sure on the list

Oh my, that doesn't bode well, does it? But think of the writing I will get done (or, realistically, the Scrabulous I will play on facebook).