Monthly Archives: November 2012

Annoyed at television networks…and viewers

First of all, I am in a dissertation revision haze, so I hope this blog post is coherent.

I just found out that 666 Park Avenue is being cancelled and I am really bummed about it…and annoyed that stupid shows like Go On, Revolution and Beauty & the Beast get renewed, but shows that actually have a engaging storyline and interesting characters are getting axed.

Now, I realize that 666 Park Avenue is no Firefly…*meaningful look about awesome shows getting killed before they’ve had time to blossom*…but I thought it was one of the best new dramas of the season.  Yeah, there were a few issues about character motivations and such, but nothing as glaring as what can be found in Revolution.  I blame it on whatever idiot named the show “666,” which immediately alienates a huge audience who will not tune in on principle because of the name.  Although, I have noticed that television shows about the devil tend not to do well…Think Tru Calling and Joan of Arcadia – as soon as a devil character was introduced the shows got cancelled.

But seriously, folks. I am not a harsh critique.  Really, I’m not.  So, when I find it painful to sit through a show like Revolution or Beauty and the Beast, I think, “Well, surely these will get cancelled.”  Nope – people LOVE them!  Whitney?  Utterly painful, but it’s getting a third season from what I hear.  And I give shows a chance.  I do!  I gave Animal Hospital a chance even though it looked really stupid and actually thought it was not half-bad.  Cancelled.  I like Jimmy Fallon, but I watched one episode of Guys with Kids and thought…well, honestly I didn’t think much at all about it.  I didn’t like it enough to watch a second episode, but I didn’t find it painful like Go On.  It got a request for more episodes.  Political Animals – brilliant.  Cancelled.  Although, to be fair, I think that show was always meant to be just one season.  The Neighbors?!  I could barely get my 10-year old son to sit through an entire episode, he thought it was so stupid.  Full season.  Arrow?  Well, actually, Arrow is the only one where I seem to agree.  I think it got a full season.

I am starting to feel like there is something wrong with me.  Why is it that shows that I feel have potential or value seem to lack viewship, whereas shows I am convinced are the stupidest sh*t seem to have millions of people who love them?  Is it me?  Or it is them?  Because I know everyone has different tastes, but…um,…I tend to think people are just stupid and watch television with a completely uncritical eye, happy to swallow anything that gets shoveled their way.  Plot not simple enough or laid out from the beginning?  Any thinking involved?  Does it make you question your moral values?  Forget it.  (How in the world did a show like Lost survive for so long with its convoluted storyline?)  People would rather watch ANOTHER procedural, as long as there are some pretty faces involved.  I see no other logical explanation, but with this trend I may have to *gulp* give up television altogether.

I’d be happy to hear your thoughts.  Perhaps someone out there has an answer for me.

Thanks for listening.  Back to revisions now…*sigh*

/rant

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Categories: Miscellaneous, Television | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Happy Birthday, Bram Stoker!

Today is the 165th anniversary of Bram Stoker’s birth. Thank you Google for bringing this to my attention. He was Irish (yeah, baby). He published Dracula in 1897. He wrote other novels, short stories and non-fiction – none of which I’ve read. Maybe I should get around to that. However, Dracula is one of my favorite books and to date, still one of the best vampire books ever written. Well, when you’re the immortalizer of a myth, it is hard to be topped, I suppose.

Also, did you know that his great-grand nephew Dacre Stoker, along with Ian Holt, published a “sequel” to Dracula a few years ago? It is called Dracula: The Un-Dead. A quick glance at the reviews tells me it is not a very good “sequel,” but that as a stand-alone, alternate story about vampires, it is a quick and entertaining read. So, I think I may check it out.

Another bit of trivia: the first movie based on Bram Stoker’s novel was Nosferatu in 1922 with Max Schreck. Stoker’s widow, Florence Stoker was still alive at the time. Apparently the movie makers did not have the rights to the story and they didn’t pay her any royalties either, so she sued them. The result was that the film be destroyed, but, obviously, not all copies were destroyed since it is still available.  I liked the movie. However, the first authorized movie was Dracula with Bela Lugosi (yeah, baby). Did you know that Tod Browning directed it?!? I suppose I must have known that at some point, but apparently I forgot, because upon just re-discovering that fact, I was like, “no way!”

Anyway, Happy Birthday, Bram Stoker! May you rest in peace.

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Why I still watch Castle

Non-writing related post here.  I just wanted to say that this last episode of Castle, “The Final Frontier,” was not only awesome, but the reason why I still tune in to this television show.

Castle is one of those shows on television right now (along with Bones) that started off really good, but over the past couple of seasons has seemed to have lost its drive.  I’m not really sure where the writers can take Castle that will keep it on my “must-see-TV” list.  I love me some Nathan Fillion, mind you, which is largely what has kept me watching thus far.  I also really enjoy the relationship between John Huertas’ and Seamus Dever’s characters.  However, if the writers can manage to keep putting out episodes like “The Final Frontier” and even “Probable Cause” (the episode before last, which wasn’t bad), I will keep watching.

So, for sci-fi nerds and lovers of Nathan Fillion and Joss Whedon, this episode is a must see.  And, you’ll be happy to know, there were just the right amount of Firefly references without overdoing it.

 

Categories: Miscellaneous, Television | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Chilenismos

Condorito

Condorito

Yesterday morning I got distracted by Cristian de la Fuente and his Chilean dialect –> here, particularly 8:04, for you Spanish speakers.

It has been over ten years since I have been around Spanish like that; these days, when people do speak to me in Spanish it is usually in a much more neutral dialect.  So, I spent the morning surfing YouTube for more videos about chilenismos and the particularities of Chilean Spanish.  A few other videos I particularly enjoyed were: a clip from a Chilean talk show, a rather humorous video by a kid named Abel Brignardello (especially 0:18), and another entertaining one by “Nick”  (particularly 4:47).   Some of the comments say Nick sounds Mexican, but I really don’t know why; he sounds very Chilean to me.  Also, beware that there is a lot of swearing in these videos and if you follow the link to Abelbrigna’s second video, the images for “raja” are… a bit graphic.  I was looking for clips of really slangy Chilean Spanish.

I don’t know how many of you speak Spanish or can relate to the feelings/memories a particular dialect of a foreign language can evoke, but I got lost in these videos.  They made me miss Chile and miss speaking Spanish in a context that does not involve a classroom.  They made me miss my youth, which, I suppose is something to which we can all relate.  I was in Chile a couple of years ago, but it was for research, which means that the relationships I forged were largely professional.  I made friends with some of the ladies in my neighborhood, but it wasn’t the same as being part of a family, which was the experience I had had in a different part of Chile ten years before that.  I would not want to relive that time in my life now, but it was a good time that helped to shape who I am today.

Well, I guess I am just feeling nostalgic and thought I would share these videos with you.  I was supposed to  be participating in NaNoWriMo, but it turns out I will have to put all my energy into revising my dissertation.  The story I had in mind to write this month took place in Chile.  It was kind of a prequel/backstory to another story I have wanted to write for some time now.  Ah, well, one day…one day I will finally be done with this dissertation and this degree and I will be able to focus on other endeavors…One day…

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NaNoWriMo dreams already on their deathbed

First of all, I have had one helluva week, let me tell you.  I sure hope this yo-yoing goes away once I graduate, because it is wrecking havoc on my emotional well-being.

So, here we are.  Day 2 of NaNoWriMo.  I have only 535 words, and I can already tell I am not going to be a winner this year.  It was really wishful thinking that I would be done with my grad school obligations in time to participate.  I have the weekend to keep trying, but I have received news that, in order to please a committee member, I will have to make a serious effort at revising several things in my dissertation in the next two and a half weeks.  Revisions (for which I do not yet have the specifics) can be anything from adding a sentence or two here to doing more research and incorporating it into the existing chapters.  I am already afraid that two and a half weeks will not nearly be enough time to make these revisions.  What these revisions also mean is that any writing energy I expend should be devoted to my dissertation.  Because in addition to these revisions, I also have a 45-minute presentation to prepare based on my dissertation.  This presentation will be given to my defense committee who decides whether or not I pass.

So, for me this year instead of NaNoWriMo I have ReDissWriMo…or Revise my Disseration Writing Month…Okay, I probably could have come up with something better, but whatever…it’s still relatively early in the morning and I have classes to prepare on top of everything else.

Seven months ago I decided to write a novel.  Seven months later, I don’t have but a handful of pages of creative writing.  Still plugging away on my doctorate.  But without staring at it too long for fear of startling it into scampering away, I am pretty sure I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I’m still going to keep my head down and pay attention to my footsteps, though, until right before the light hits me…Just in case the light turns out to be further away than it seems.  No more emotional yo-yoing!!

To all my fellow NaNoWriMo participants, I send you good vibes and wish you well on your endeavors.  It turns out I’m on a different train this year, but I’ll be sure to join you on the journey next year…At which time, I hope to already have some substantial progress towards a novel completed.

Categories: Miscellaneous, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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