Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Because I Have Been Given Much...

...I too must give. And by "give" I don't mean performing acts of service or donating money to poor people, I just mean I'm going to give some advice on TV shows.

Although the below video may be my favorite thing of all-time to watch repeatedly (every aspect of this is hilarious - white boyfriend pushes large black girlfriend who may or may not be a transvestite, shifty friend who looks like one of Fat Albert's Gang sits atop the swing set watching the action, lady loses weave thereby transforming into Biz Markee right before your eyes), there are some other things I love to watch.

Some people are born to paint. Others are natural born singers. I have been give the ability to critique TV shows, and just like the world would be incomplete without Mozart's music, Picasso's art, or Hemingway's writing, I feel I need to leave my mark on the world with a list of recent TV shows to watch before you least shows to watch if you plan on dying within the next year, as there will likely be more shows to watch before you die if that is in another 70 years or so.

The shows are (in random order):

- Lost. But if you are lying on your deathbed and realize you only have time to watch some of it and not the full series, you only need to watch seasons 1, 2, 3, and 6. In those first three seasons, you are still mystified by the island and intrigued by the cast. In seasons 4 and 5 when they get into time travel and everything, you feel a little cheated and start blaming the writers/directors for laziness, and just keep hoping Kate dies. You have to watch season 6 (or if you're really in bad shape, just the last episode of season 6) to find out how it ends.

- Arrested Development. Although the lack of a laugh track caused the majority of TV watchin' hillbillies to "not get them jokes," this is the funniest show ever produced. Please stop being a dick and just agree to be in the movie, Michael Cera. I realize "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World" looks like film making at its greatest and you have a hard time tearing away from epic films like this, but please do it for the fans.

- Dexter. It makes you feel a little more normal for all those times you've thought, "If I were to murder someone, here's how I would get away with it." It just appeals to that little serial killer in all of us.

- Prison Break. But only seasons 1 and 2. After that, you're like, hmmm...they've now broken out of three prisons in 2 countries, are saving the world from a secret organization, and the main character is doing all this with a brain aneurysm. The first two seasons are entirely improbable, but wildly entertaining. I think trying to figure out just exactly what race the main character is adds to the whole intrigue. He belongs to the same race as Carlos Boozer and Shane Battier.

- Mad Men. It's tricky deciding if you want to watch this one with your wife. On one hand, she will appreciate being a woman in 2010 rather than a woman in the 1960s. So she won't get so mad at you when you ignore your children and shirk all responsibility every so often to watch a football game when she realizes women used to have it worse. On the other hand, you will never be able to work late again without getting assaulted with questions about where you were and who you were with. Watching Don Draper's bad ass-ness will make you want to entirely change your attitude at work.

Promising shows still to be watched in their entirety before consideration: Breaking Bad, Flight of the Conchords, Eastward Bound and Down, The Sopranos, and Entourage. Any input is welcome on these if you have seen them.

Shows on the bubble that didn't make the cut: The Office (British and American - British for its difficulty in understanding at times, American for turning into a pile of crap after 3 seasons), Modern Family (still too new for full assessment), How I Met Your Mother (too much potential to start getting sappy as he starts nearing the meeting of Your Mother), The Soup and Tosh.0 (I just can't see justifying a talk show as a great series - although they are both hilarious. Tosh.0 more so than The Soup lately).

So, now when you have that talk with your doctor about how he's "sorry, you only have a week to live and probably won't even refill this prescription, blah blah blah" and you are trying to decide between getting things in order spiritually, passing wisdom and memories on to your children, or watching some good TV...I hope you will at least consider this list.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Movie Making History

I need you to pay attention to this one. I am about to make a statement I thought I would never make. The type of definitive statement that leaves me vulnerable to second thoughts, ridicule and ninja attacks. But I am going to make it anyway.

Before I do, though, I want to remind you that yes, I have seen The Godfather, The Godfather II, Fight Club, Braveheart, Gladiator, The Matrix, The Departed, The Sting, Ocean’s Eleven, A River Runs Through It, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and Mary Poppins.

I’ve seen them all, yet I’m still going to say it:

Inception is the greatest movie ever made.

Not “one of the…”

Not “in my top ten…”


I left the movie theater with the chills. I left feeling like I had just attempted 8 simultaneous Sudoku puzzles. I left feeling disappointed in every other movie I have ever seen for not trying hard enough. I came away upset with myself for accepting mediocrity for so long.

Some movies make you cry because they are touching. Some make you cry from a sense of honor, courage or sacrifice. Some make you cry tears of sadness when witnessing human suffering.

Inception made me cry the way dropping out of the womb makes a newborn cry: I simply felt the newness of a life and reality I never knew existed. I didn’t know they could make movies this good. I didn’t know this quality of writing, directing and acting had even been invented.

Go see it.

Look, you’re not getting it. Go now. Leave work and go to the matinee. Pay twice though, and stay for the second showing. If you don’t love it, please stop reading the blog. In fact, if you don’t like it, I can’t imagine that you are literate enough or even have the basic computer skills required to read this blog, so…never mind.

Go see it, come back and tell me what it did to you.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dear Raja

I would like to issue an open letter to Raja Bell for being possibly one of my favorite players of all time...mainly due to the video clip below.

Dear Raja,

Words cannot express how happy I am you are coming back to Utah. Even greater is the way in which you came back. As a Jazz fan, I have resigned myself to never beating the Lakers in the playoffs. Now, regardless of what happens in the playoffs, at least Utah can say they stuck it to L.A. for once.

By blowing off your meeting with Kobe "Brokeback" Bryant, thereby showing no interest in the Lakers, you have made me a lifelong fan. It may have just been a decision based on the fact that Utah could pay you more than L.A., but I like to think it's because you have as much hatred for the Purple and Gold and No. 24 as I do. I have watched this video of you clotheslining Captain Underbite more than my wedding video.

In the interest of full disclosure, I had brought up the possibility of looking for a new team to cheer for this year. It seemed every team was making big free agent moves this off-season to better their chances at a title - with the exception of Utah. I was only a little excited about Al Jefferson as I felt it was simply a lateral move when Carlos Boozer left. And when Utah drafted Gordon Hayward...well, let's just say they could've drafted Gordon Lightfoot and I would've had the same reaction.

But now, with you on the roster, dear Raja, I will watch cheer for Utah louder and prouder than ever before, for no other reason than hoping for that .001 percent chance that you will recreate your manhandling of Sister Bryant.

Thank you, Raja, for ringing my Bell.