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Great Scott And Last ‘Lost’

Somehow I’m not surprised by this bit of news. At least McClellan is willing to admit he was wrong about something.

In other, happier news: Lost finale tomorrow! I have high hopes for another mind-blower. Don’t let me down, writers. The finale of The Office was uninspiring, so give me something to love on TV again.

Also, I went to see Barbara Walters tonight. She is promoting her new book. It was awesome.

Media Television

Lost Vs. The Office

It seems like after the writers’ strike-induced hiatus, LOST got a whole lot better and The Office got a whole lot worse.

LOST‘s entire 4th season has been, overall, pretty fantastic. They’ve taken a new yet exciting direction with the implementation of flash-forwards and they now have an end date for the series, so they’re able to write towards that finale with some confidence.

The Office, on the other hand, has lost something. The first half of the season, before the strike, was strong and moved the story along well enough and remained consistently funny, with both their trademark painful awkwardness and crazy hysterics from Michael or Dwight.

After the strike, nothing was that funny. Most of the story lines became borderline depressing and staid. The Jim/Pam arc was going okay even though they were together, yet in recent episodes, I keep expecting Jim to propose and every he doesn’t take the chance, the excitement for their relationship wanes a little more.

There are little moments that are funny; mostly the Jim/Dwight pranks, but that is quickly becoming a tired element of the show. It can’t produce all of the laughs. I realize and respect the need for drama in a comedy. I think it makes The Office a more mature sitcom if it can handle darker material. But recently, it hasn’t been doing that well.

The finale failed to inspire any more confidence. While I recognize the need to set-up the stories for next season — Dwight and Angela still going hot ‘n’ heavy, Jim and Pam still unable to seal the deal, Michael and Jan still trapped in a horribly destructive relationship — I didn’t laugh once during the finale. There were a few smiles and an occasional half-hearted chuckle, but that’s it.

Maybe I’ll watch it again and give it another chance, but as of right now, I’m not pining for the return of The Office. On the other hand, Lost has betwixt me heart and soul and I have to resign to the fact that us Losties have to wait another millennium for a new season. That is, of course, if the Screen Actors Guild doesn’t go on strike and ruin another TV season. I could care less about any other show; just let The Office and Lost live.

Etc. Story Television

This! Is!…


Tim rocked my world and nabbed some killer free tickets to the final night of the Jeopardy taping at the Kohl Center in Madison. It was the final two tapings of the College Tournament of Champions, episodes that will air May 15 and 16. Here’s what I learned:

– Alex Trebek answers attendees’ questions during the commercial time. He has the same persona on screen and off.

– If Alex screws up reading an answer, like mispronouncing a name, they rerecord him reading it during the commercial and replace the flub with the rerecording. The answer that has Mahmoud Ahmedinejad is a rerecording.

– I know who wins the tournament but I won’t tell.

– The final Final Jeopardy we will see on TV was not the original. One of the contestants did something disruptive as Alex revealed the final money totals, so after they finished they rerecorded the revealing of the Final Jeopardy answers. It was madness.

– It was so weird to see Alex do the things I’ve seen him do on TV so many times.

– If what was shown on the big screen as they taped the show is the final product, I will be on TV twice; once each episode. On May 15, I’m in the bottom left corner of the screen for a few seconds. On May 16, I’m  on for much longer, making strange movements and cheering. We were right in front of the UW band, so look for them and you’ll see me. I’m in a gray t-shirt.

Jeopardy is awesome.


The Beginning Of The End

Here’s what Natalie thinks about the season premiere of LOST last night. I think I agree with her.


On The Record

I want to go on the record about something.

In the last few years, fans of the television show LOST have debated back and forth the mysterious — solved and unsolved — of the island and its inhabitants. Some say the writers have left way too many things unanswered for too long. They see that as a sign of sloppiness and apathy towards the feelings of the fans.

We as a collective sit through week after week of polar bears, smoke monsters, hatches, the Dharma Initiative, the numbers, etc., if only to learn something new that makes sense of something old.

Eventually, people get sick of waiting week after week, then months at a time, for just morsels of information. They say in frustration, “I’m never watching that show again! There are too many mysteries left unsolved! %##&^!!!!”

Well, I’ve never been one of those people. As soon as I became an official LOST fan, I was in it ’til the end. Even after a lackluster second season, a weak 6-episode arc beginning the third season, and a 9-month break between season, I sit here as excited about the show as I was when I watched the pilot episode.

Some of you doubters will say, now that LOST is awesome again, “Well, I never really doubted it.” Bull. I read thread after thread on Lost Facebook pages and AIM conversations of the same, tired laments. I got so sick of hearing people whine and moan about the show that I just stopped listening.

I’ve never whined about a thing on that show. Never.

Of course, after every episode I would excitedly chat with friends and family about what the @#$^ had just happened, and get each other excited about what would happen next week. And that whole time, no matter how lame others said Lost was getting, I loved it. Every freaking episode.

I think it’s because I know I’m watching something historic. (Historic in terms of television.) LOST made a huge splash it its premiere — literally. I didn’t start watching it until after the first season, on DVD. Ever since then, I’ve been hooked. Anyone who watches it is. You just can’t stop watching it.

Now, since we know that they have a firm end date to the show, I know that LOST will be even greater. This is not one of those I-knew-it-all-along things. I’ve always had to try to convince the doubting Losties I know that no matter how they felt about the latest episode, they had to appreciate the show itself. Look at it from a wider perspective. Because from there, it’s quite beautiful.

So go on, doubters. Complain that there are just more mysteries to solve and not enough time to solve them. Go ahead. It’s your loss. While you sit at your computer and bitch about the Others, I will be happily absorbed in a great show.  I just wanted to make sure that you know I’m in it no matter what.

I don’t care which characters they kill off, how lame the latest twist is, what is behind the Dharma Initiative, or how much of a rip-off the grand finale might be. I just don’t care. LOST is just too good a show to diminish.

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, watch the two-hour season 4 premiere tonight,  8/7c on ABC. It’s back, LOST fans. And it’s going to be awesome.


Rachel & TK All The Way

At least one of my favorite teams won on Sunday. I totally called it before the season began. They looked like they would get along and have fun along the way, which they did.

Although, this was the first season in a while where I wouldn’t have minded if any of the top 3 teams won. Ron & Christina finally fell into a positive dynamic, and Nicolas & Don seemed to always have fun together. I give them all props.

There was no preview for the next season; I’m guessing because they don’t have it ready yet. But I’m pumped already.

Congrats TK & Rachel!

Story Television

he’s very good…

This is as good a time as ever to tell a story.

Henry Winkler came to North Central on a promotional tour for his newest children’s book. Along with the admission price, you get a free copy of the book. I purchased the deal with hopes of getting my Arrested Development DVD signed by Barry Zuckercorn (He’s very good!). So I go to the show and he gives a motivational speech to the kids in the audience, explains his struggle with dyslexia, then reads a little from his book. The show ends and the lady in charge announces that Mr. Winkler will not be signing any memorabilia other than his books.


I have to reformulate my plan. There soon forms a long line for the signing table, so my chances of a quick sneak attack with the DVD is impossible. I’m currently number 200 in line, so I wait. And wait. Then listen to some parents talk about “the Fonz” and wait some more. The clock is ticking. LOST is on at 9PM, which is approaching ever so quickly. I can now see the table and hear his deep, animated voice. I’m reciting exactly what I’ll say when the moment comes. I’m going to be suave, collected, intelligent, and cool…with any luck.

5 people ahead of me, now 4, now 3. The lady arranging the books for the Fonz to sign repeats to many patrons that “Mr. Winkler will not be signing anything other than his books.” Screw you lady, I’m getting my DVD signed.

The moment comes. He says hello and starts signing the book.

(This is exactly what happened)
“Hey, I’m a huge fan of Arrested Development.”
“Yeah, that was a shame, wasn’t it?” he says.
“Yeah, I would be honored,” I said, as I pulled out the concealed disc, “if you would sign my Arrested Development DVD.”

The book Nazi woman attempts to thwart my plan.

“No, you can’t–”

But it was too late. He signed it with a smile, saying: “Ha, if you tell anyone, I’ll break your knees.”

Thank you, Henry. That’s all that I ask.


Hey brother!

I just finished watching the final episodes of Arrested Development on DVD. If I haven’t told you before, please rent the DVDs. It is by far one of the best comedies and overall television shows I have ever seen. It is a unique kind of comedy, so be ready for fast moving storylines and a lot of subtle humor. I’ve never heard of anyone not loving this show once they’ve taken a little time to watch it. Just do it; it will be well worth your time.