Monday, January 21, 2008

What I'm Watching: Strike! Edition

Normally, around this time of year, I'd write the second half of my "What I'm Watching" TV-recommendation post. In September, I like to give a summary of my possible TV schedule for the season; when winter hiatus ends, I follow up with what made the cut and why. The "What I'm Watching" thing is, however, obviously problematic this year. Striking writers, and all. In terms of current non-reality shows, I'm watching very little at all.

Which doesn't mean I haven't made good use of the time. I miss my shows, and I'm so, so smad for the writers and the non-writer folks who aren't working because "we don't know if the internet's gonna make any money," but I'd be lying if I said my TV was gathering dust. This is like a weirdly placed summer break. All this time to catch up on all the shows I've ignored over the years? It's not ideal, but it sure does cut down on the "things I should have watched but haven't" list. And so I present What I'm Watching: Strike! Edition.

Friday Night Lights
I'm not sure what NBC would have to do to get people to watch Friday Night Lights (make it look less like a football-themed teen drama?), but I feel like personally going to everybody I know, looking deep into their eyes, and saying with great gravitas, "You must watch this show." I don't care who you are: young, old, single, married, into TV, not into TV, whatever. If you like stories about people, and if you have a heart pumping blood through your body, I dare you to watch the first disc of the first season and not fall crazily in love with Dillon, TX. This show is spectacularly written and spectacularly acted, but those are only the means to a funny, sad, real, heart-breaking, head-nodding, "that's so true!"-inducing end. "Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose," indeed. (Bonus: First season: $20 at full price! Unheard-of! Watch it today!)

Arrested Development
I've often said that The Office is a groundbreaking show, the kind of TV that will change the medium. I still think that. But I have to give props: before there was The Office, there was Arrested Development. My brother gave me the complete series (three seasons) for Christmas, and this show has been a weird, hilarious bright spot in early 2008: a half-hour comedy with an ongoing plot and jokes that build on themselves for whole seasons at a time. For the uninitiated, it's about "a wealthy family who lost everything, and the one son that had no choice but to keep them all together" (It's in the theme song). Other than that, there's really nothing to explain, except that Will Arnett doing his Mexican chicken dance will never not reduce me to tears. Just...helpless, sometimes guilty, laughter. So, so funny.

I was saving LOST for a rainy day, and that day came when I visited Maggie in Phoenix and she sent me home with her first-season DVDs. Now, can we face facts for a moment? This show is CRAZY. Tropical-island-with-polar-bears-and-monsters-and-underground-faux-Cold-War-Buddhist-bunkers crazy. But I love it. I love the first season for making me care (mostly) about an almost infinite number of character relationships (14 factorial!), and I think I love the second season even more, for having an actual plot and for creeping the heck out of me on a regular basis ("I'm Henry Gale. I'm from Minnesota." Ack!), and for having Sawyer show up, drunk, in everyone's backstory. Heh. It's weird and intense, but also deeply rooted in character--it has to be, to make us care deeply about that many fictional people--and full of nice little moments. It's ambitious and sometimes silly, but rarely boring. Bonus: Season 4 starts January 31! New TV for this wasteland of a season! Totally worth it.

So that's the current roster. But, really (and don't tell the AMPTP this or we'll be TV-less for a lot longer), I could go for awhile. I have the first season of Six Feet Under burning a hole in my DVD shelf, and Battlestar Galactica, Bleak House, the second season of Weeds, and Dead Like Me sitting on my Netflix queue. And Masterpiece Theatre's doing the complete Jane Austen on Sundays. And if we're stuck long-term, I can always break out the big guns: Buffy and Angel, which is a combined...what, eleven seasons? Don't think I won't, guys. I'm just looking for a reason (besides pregnancy bed rest and bunion surgery, which have been my go-to Buffy/Angel watchwords). I'm here for the long haul. (But please, can we have our TV back?)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I was only trying to be virtuous

This is the second time this week I've shown up for an apparently-cancelled crew practice.

Guess I'll have to take a hot shower, eat some homemade pizza, and knit my way through In Her Shoes instead. With slippers and a blanket. Too bad about that. But what's a girl to do?

(Though, frankly, if I'd known I might have gone for a run before it got dark.)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

12 of 12: January

Happy New Year, and here's to 144 new photos in 2008!

8:44 - Waking up alarm-free = best thing ever.

11:30 - Mom's coming to visit. She totally loves my cleaning habits. (I have, however, moved past the stage where I'd literally clear a path from the door to my bed. This is progress.)

12:28 - Better. (And yes, those are new sock monkey slippers, and yes, they are my favorite thing ever.)

1:43 - We are ladies. We lunch.

2:07 - How are yarn stores not the most-photographed thing ever? They're so pretty. If I were a photographer, I'd do a coffee table book: Yarn Stores of the World.

2:09 - Mom picking out yarn, a Christmas present from me.

3:36 - Finishing a mitten in a fit of yarn-store-inspired inspiration. (That's the thumb I'm working on.)

5:02 - In line at Trader Joe's.

5:03 - Movie-party food (pepper jack, smoked gouda, a baguette, and chopped pineapple and mango). What did we do before there was Trader Joe's?

5:10 - I love the Grand Lake from the bottom of my heart, but sometimes I think they're a little like that crazy person who corners you at a social gathering and tells you all about how the Masons killed JFK.

5:17 - Sadly, the sunset behind the Golden Gate Bridge doesn't really translate at 60 mph. It's pretty, I promise.

11:40 - Yes, that is my friend Luke and that is his lightsaber, which lights up and makes funny "wonnnnnnng...wonnnnnnnng" noises. We were watching Star Wars. (All of them in a row, which I swear isn't a pattern. It's a long story.)

Next month: February!


Hi. My name is Liz, and I swore I left a blog around here somewhere. Has anybody seen it?

In my own defense, I did go on vacation. And then the wind knocked my internet out, and AT&T left me hanging for a few days. And then I was just lazy.

In other words, happy 2008! I pronounce open season for Read in Reverse.