Path Chosen (For Now, At Least)

Path Chosen (For Now, At Least)

Other titles considered: “I Forked Myself”, “Robert Frost Was Not A Capitalist”, “I Am Not A Practiced User Of Or Really Any Free Version Of Photoshop.  (It’s Pretty Complicated.  Seriously.)”  So I said “fuck that noise” to that potential banking gig.  They were looking for me to “take a year back” – which essentially means to pretend I did not work 10.7 months at a better firm (actually a much worse firm, but a better group in terms of participating in and executing deals in the space) in 2008.  I also didn’t really think jumping on something imperfect just because it fell into my lap was prudent, have fallen for that before.  Also, I’m pretty lazy.

After leaving the gym last night, was visiting a different Gristedes grocery (stunningly, the one closest to me no longer carries Arriba Hot Salsa, just Medium and Mild.  Despite all my consumer activism specific to this product and store.  Dammit.) and while walking between 8th and 9th Avenues happened upon the movie premiere for Brothers.  It’s an upcoming wife-cheating-on-soldier-husband-with-soldier-husband’s-brother movie or something.  So anyway, covered in sweat and looking forward to the four pound quesadilla to come, I’m suddenly about 12 yards from Tobey Maguire.  Between us there was about 6,000 people all snapping 18 megawatt flashes right in his grill nonstop while he walked twenty feet to his left.  It didn’t look like that much fun – thank goodness for the anonymity of the internet.  Would hate to have to go through that every time I posted something.

This was after they ran the flash gauntlet
This was after they ran the flash gauntlet

Official Kudos to Two Television Programs That Just Concluded Their (Too Short) 2009 Seasons

Mad Men –  Extra rough patch for the Draper.  Took him some time to start getting his Draper on and even then received some pretty consistent bitch slaps from the various ladies in his life.  Some of the story arcs were slow developing, but the payoff in the last three episodes was excellent.  Mostly season three was about the maturation of the female characters: Joan finally coming out swinging, Betty plotting, Peggy standing up for herself (when not laying down for herself and a former colleague).

Mad Men is the only program I can recall depicting someone getting his foot cut off by a runaway lawn mower at an office party.   Love Sally, love Joan, love Roger, love the bizarre look Draper has whenever something horrible is happening to him.  Exquisite work by the cast and the writers, as usual, and further demonstration that “unknown ensemble” is the way to put together a strong dramatic cast (see Wire, The).

Curb Your Enthusiasm –  We’ve seen the formula for what, seven seasons now?  Larry gets agitated by something/someone, it escalates into an altercation and the whole thing later comes back to bite him.  (This was pretty much the Seinfeld formula as well).  Each season also has a broader backdrop – donating an organ, separating from his wife, conducting a Seinfeld reunion to get his wife back, etc.  Wait, what?  Seinfeld reunion?

I’m actually pretty surprised how little hype this got, as there was effectively a half hour Seinfeld imbedded in the season of Curb.  Fucking spot on, the premise for the reunion was funny and tied in with the meta storyline perfectly.  I’m convinced they could crank out another ten seasons of the Sein if they wanted to, without sacrificing much quality.  Not really much need to, though, as CYE has assumed the mantle for no-hugs, curmudgeonly humor.  Eager to see what season eight has in store (although given the long wait between seasons on HBO, it will probably be 2014 or so).

The Exact Opposite of Kudos (2 Thumbs Jammed Straight Down Into My Eye Sockets) To FlashForward

Ten Things That I Hate About FlashForward

  1. The constant “I just found out my mom’s dabbling in internet pron” look on Joseph Fiennes’ face.  Dude, just go ahead and start crying if you need to.  Let it all out.
  2. Joseph Fiennes’ “I will now channel Christian Bale’s Dark Knight” voice
  3. The complete and utter lack of any chemistry on the part of any two characters, on either a romantic or platonic level
  4. The inane focus on the main character’s potential future relapse into alcoholism, when he’s also going to be sought out by masked men with laser-scoped assault weapons in the future.  The latter seems a bigger problem to me, not to mention the fact that his fucking partner is going to get fucking murdered
  5. The ABCentric lesbian subplot.  Seriously?  In every one of your dramas?  At least the ones in FF are pretty hot, unlike the dogfest that apparently wasn’t a fan favorite on Grey’s Anatomy.  (Disclaimer: I do not watch Grey’s Anatomy, but have been exposed to it and therefore suffer some longterm effects)
  6. The nonsensical prioritizations/decisions – “I’m trying to extradite this Nazi to the US, but let me take this 15 minute phone call from my AA sponsor, could be important.”  “I realize you are the director of the LA office of the FBI, but please allow me to make you Director of Homeland Security.  I am the President.  Or you could not take the job and senselessly blackmail me for a small favor instead. Seemingly i would grant that favor sans blackmail since i just offered you a preposterous promotion, but go ahead with the blackmail if you feel that’s the right thing to do.”
  7. No one is actively trying to bone Nicole.  (Since the first episode, at least).  She thinks she’s gonna die, she’s probably down with just about anything.  Morons.
  8. The writing is god awful.  Terrible dialogue and a lot of convenient coincidences that allow the heroes to immediately decipher needle-in-haystackesque clues.  Speaking of heroes, Heroes season one was roughly 38x better than this.
  9. The protagonist’s wife is super-duper annoying, generally bitchy to everyone and vacillating on whether the visions are to be believed or not.  (Apparently she was on Lost or something, am not eager to dig into another ABC science fantasy program after this trainwreck.)
  10. Myself, for continuing to watch.  Why?  I’m certain that a two minute recap on Television Without Pity would be just as satisfying without wasting so much time.

Three Things I Can Tolerate About FlashForward

Peyton is apparently not just a boy's name
Peyton is apparently not just a boy's name

  1. Nicole.  If your Venn diagram with Mad Men is only going to contain one person, Peyton List is not a bad way to go.
  2. John Cho and Jack Davenport, better known as Harold and Steve (Coupling) are the only ones not mailing it in, actingwise.
  3. The general premise is pretty cool, and I guess what keeps my dumb ass going back.  The show itself acts somewhat as a time travel device, because after drudging through twenty minutes worth of an episode, I invariably feel that I’ve put in about 57 minutes.


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