LOST: My New Obsession

Most people look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them my latest binge-watching show: LOST. Yes, it has been a decade since the show first aired, but somehow I managed to stay away from reading or hearing anything about how it ends. I recall snippets of news reports after the finale that pointed toward disappointment, confusion, and questioning whether it was all a dream. But I never read further into them, knowing that one day, I would like to actually watch the show.

I’m now halfway through season 3, and thoroughly intrigued. Every episode, I find myself trying to think up a new theory. After the episode with Hurley and his imaginary friend “Dave,” I stuck with the theory they attempted to suggest: that Hurley is actually imagining all of this, and he’s still holed up in that mental institution. 

Think about it: they show Libby as a mental patient. I will bet that each person on the island is someone in that institution that he sees, and creates this story about in his head. Maybe Jack is there to see a patient, and he becomes the helpful doctor on the island. Kate is a prisoner brought in. Charlie is there to play music. Who knows. But then they show the episode with Desmond, and it all gets really confusing. 

It’s clear that everything happening to everyone there is some sort of metaphor for what happened in real life, and them trying to resolve their guilt. Sawyer comes face-to-face with the bull, i.e. his father, and realizes that killing it/him won’t really solve anything. Jack is faced with having to stop fixing everything and just worry about himself. Sayed is taken prisoner a number of times, and forced to experience what he made others experience. Hurley has the issue with temptation to food, and has to learn to stop that. Charlie is faced with addiction, and overcoming that. And finding that he is useful. Claire is faced with the reality if someone taking her baby, and realizes that the baby is supposed to be with her.

But then all of these intertwining back stories start happening. I first noticed it when the kid in the flashback clip with Jin is watching TV, and Hurley is on the screen. (We find out later it must have been a news program about him winning the lottery.) Then we see how Sawyer meets Jack’s dad. In fact, we start to see how everyone meets Jack’s dad, which makes me wonder whether the whole thing is Jack’s dream. Claire meets him, and finds out he’s her dad. Ana Lucia meets him in the airport. Might we see how everyone else crosses paths with Jack’s dad, too? Then we see how Kate had dealings with Sawyer’s girlfriend, how John met Rose in the airport, how John inspected a house just purchased by the girl Sayed is trying to find. How the psychic guy that wanted Claire to keep her baby is also tied to, now I forgot who! There are so many twists and turns, I imagine it would be hard NOT to be disappointed by the end.

While my better half hasn’t watched the show, he did read all about it. And all he keeps saying is “the lamp post.” I don’t know what that means. I sincerely hope they don’t all walk by some magical lamppost and get transported to this imaginary world. that would be super cheesy.

Nevertheless, I’m trying hard to get through these 6 seasons quickly, so I can investigate more about the ending once I know what it is. For now, I’m having a blast seeing all of the cameos and actors, some of whom I didn’t even know were in the show. 

Did you watch LOST? What did you think about the ending?

2014 TV Show Cancellations

Ahh, that dreaded time of year when actors wait in agony to find out if their show has been picked up for another season, or has been left behind. For avid TV viewers like me, we also wait in hopes that our favs make it back for another season.

Typically, it’s pretty obvious to guess which shows will make it back. I mean, Modern Family will not be canceled. Big Bang Theory is a gimme. The Blacklist has brought in stellar ratings, so unless James Spader decides he wants out of TV, it’s not going anywhere. And no one will dare cancel The Simpsons!

But there are always a few shows that sit on the fence, with sort of good ratings, but sort of not. Either the show just hasn’t gotten good viewership numbers, it’s in a time slot up against a better option, or it simply isn’t all that good.

I am happy to report that none of my favs have been canceled. You can see a full list of what was canceled and renewed here. http://www.ismyshowcancelled.com/home/

Perhaps the biggest upset among viewers is Community, which was given the axe. I’m not bothered since I never got into the show. But apparently many fans are up in arms about the cancellation. I thought Suburgatory was doing well in the ratings, so I’m surprised it got canned. And I heard great things about The Crazy Ones, so I was fully expecting that to be renewed. But alas, it has fallen victim to the TV grim reaper as well.

Not surprising are renewals like Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Dancing With the Stars, and The Bachelor. Happily also on the renewal list is Shark Tank (which may spell the end for Canada’s Dragon’s Den), The Following, Person of Interest, and Resurrection. 

Most surprising for me on the renewal list is American Idol. I was fully expecting it to get dropped from the Fox lineup. Apparently, it’s just getting a reduced time slot: just one episode per week once the auditions weeks are finished. It makes sense. Three hours of drawing out performances and results is just too much.

It was also confirmed that Two And a Half Men would only run to 2015. Frankly, I think they should just put a bullet in it now. When one and-a-half of the two men are gone, it’s about time to rethink the existence of the show.

I’m looking forward to the new TV show lineup, and upcoming seasons of some favs like Masterchef (have you seen Graham Elliott since he lost over 100 lbs.!) and Big Brother. Bring it on!

 

 

Hell’s Kitchen Has an Uncanny Ability for the Big Build Up & Equally Big Let Down

For years (as evidenced by this blog), I’ve been watching Hell’s Kitchen. And like any avid TV watcher, I love the “scenes” clips at the end of an intense show’s episode. What is coming up next week? What can we do to draw you in?

With some shows, the build-up is huge, and when the 7 days elapses and you get to that anticipated next episode, the delivery is well worth it. But time and time again with Hell’s Kitchen, it’s a big build up to…nothing. There’s always the inevitable siren, ambulance pulling up, and someone being taken away on a stretcher, while the rest of the team looks on with shock on their faces. Or it’s the big blowout where you’re certain, just certain, someone will have knocked the other one out. Sabotage? Why yes! Chef XYZ must have done something crazy to make Gordon Ramsay, as it appears, kick him off the show.

Then you get to the episode, and the ambulance is taking away a chef who got a little boo-boo and is back, cooking in a few hours with is hand bandaged up. The blow out? A big fight of words that is broken up long before it escalates into anything worth then a couple of toddlers throwing a simultaneous tantrum. The sneaky sabotage? An accusation that’s quickly debunked, and they move in. The whole scene? About 10 seconds. And kicking off the show? No one ever gets kicked off the show. It’s typically Ramsay taking them into a back room to tell them to shape up or get out, and get it together. Sometimes the word “donkey” is thrown in for good measure.

So after tonight’s episode, I had to laugh at the implication that someone cooks something so horrendous, it has the whole team gagging, and one even appears to throw up. Do I believe it? Not for a second. Really, what could someone do that’s so bad? Raw chicken? Ramsay would catch that before it even gets plated. A hair in the food? Gross, but hardly up-chuck worthy. Unless one of the chefs found a rat in the kitchen, and cooked it up mistaking it for a slab of pork, I can’t fathom what all the drama would be about.

My guess is there’s no drama at all. Just another build up to a scene that will likely run for 30 seconds at best, and then we’ll move on to commercial break. Rather, knowing the show, the first 15 seconds will run, then we’ll see 5 of those seconds on repeat after the commercial, followed by another 15 and we’re done. 

I understand the notion of getting viewers intrigued and excited, and drawing them in. But after a while, you begin to wonder why you watch this show in the first place. It’s so typecasted. The same folks every season. It’s the same scenarios. Every season, Ramsay experiences the worst night he’s ever seen. And the tremendous food wastage: I don’t even want to get into that.

All that said, I will probably watch next week’s episode, and excitedly wait for this non-event to laugh it off and boot up my computer to start doing other things while the episode runs. I’m slowly losing interest.

Guys, if you want to keep viewers engaged, please deliver on these huge build-ups. Or just leave the scenes out. You might be better off promising nothing, then promising more than you actually deliver.

The Walking Dead Season Finale: Fix Them Up a Plate

SPOILER ALERT! Don’t read on if you haven’t yet seen the final episode of season 4 for Walking Dead.

It seemed odd, even from the ending of the second last episode. A strange woman, cooking up what seemed like endless amounts of meat, eager to offer up a plate to every new soul who walked in. Who is this woman? What is this place? And where is she getting all of that meat?

It seems that the folks running Terminus have an ingenious idea. Coax every living soul left on the earth toward you, promising a safe place to rest your head. Sanctuary. Throw them in the back of a locked van once they get there. Presumably feed them with powdered milk for an indefinite period of time, until they get nice and fattened up. (Did anyone else make that link between the plates of powdered milk Rick saw at the entrance of the van?) Then kill them, skin them, throw their carcuses away in some kind of cage (another subtle hint you might have missed as Rick, Michione, Carl, and Daryl ran through Terminus dodging bullets) and hand them over to Martha Stewart over there, who will BBQ them to a crisp. But not the same kind of crisp Carol BBQ’d Tyrone’s girlfriend into.

Yes, it seems Terminus isn’t a cult, as I had originally thought. My first guess was that it might have been a bunch of weirdos who would use new arrivals for experimentation, to try and figure out a cure for the infection. Never did cannibalism cross my mind.  

So…how does Rick and gang get out of this one? Clearly the bag of guns he buried in the mud just outside of Terminus will come in mighty handy, likely critical, for a getaway once the new season commences. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if at least one from the group ends up sliced between two pieces of bread in a hearty sandwich before they escape. 

The ending left so many questions. Mostly, where the heck is Tyrone and Carol? What happened to Beth? Something tells me that Tyrone and Carol will be integral in getting Rick and gang out of this mess. How, I’m not sure. Oh, how much fun the writers must have coming up with this stuff!

The episode had fabulous moments of the realization of how far we’ve come, however. While Carl struggled with the monster he’s becoming (and it’s not his fault; you adapt to the world in which you live. In their world right now, it’s survival instinct, and that’s it. It’s purely primitive.) Meanwhile, Rick seems to be far more accepting of it. Heck, the guy bit a chunk out of a gang leader’s neck! How much closer can they get to being like the zombies than that? Michione, meanwhile, is returning to her motherly state pre-apocalype as she sees the need to be there for Carl, as a friend, and the only true female figure in his life. He looks up to her. So she needs to. And it’s sweet to see. Daryl, while falling farther back into his old self by joining this gang of thugs, showed just how much he changed by offering up his own life to save Rick, Michione’s, and Carl’s. 

As for Glenn and crew, who knows how things played out after they got to Terminus. Rick was able to quickly see something was up once he noticed Glenn’s pocket watch and the poncho (who’s was that again?) Did Glenn and gang notice anything and try to fight? Or did they sit down for a lovely family dinner of the people who arrived before them before they understood what they had just eaten, and what they were about to become?

The timelines aren’t clear either. How far behind Glenn and gang was Rick and gang? How long had they been in the van before Rick arrived? Will we get to see flashbacks in the new season that show how that played out?

After binge-watching the prior seasons, I’m not quite sure if these episodes are just going by way too quickly, or if I didn’t realize how short they really were because I was watching 3 or 4 of them in a row every time. But this episode seemed to end before it even started. Though we did get a few climactic moments, including the neck biting incident, and the Terminus gun chase. (Poor Daryl. What’s he going to do with a bow and arrow in that scenario?) I feel like we needed another hour, at least to show where the others are. I guess this is the way to keep us excited and anticipating the new season.

I, for one, can’t wait to find out what happens when the Terminus crew finds out that they’re messing with the wrong people. 

How I Met Your Mother: Series Ending SPOILER ALERT!

It has been 9 years. Admittedly, I didn’t start watching How I Met Your Mother until later, and binge-watched in syndication, often with episodes out of order, until I fully caught up. Everything led up to this moment. This last season hasn’t really lived up to the past. The episodes were lacklustre at best. And I kind of felt cheated when they introduced the mother before the final episode. What else was there other than to show that pivotal moment when they met, all of the stars aligned, and Ted was finally happy.Oh, so much.

Again, I will warn you. SPOILER ALERT. Do not read this if you haven’t yet watched. It turns out the show wasn’t really looking for that happy ending. Not totally, at least. It turns out Ted spent so much time telling his kids how he met their mother for good reason. She was no longer around. She had passed away six years earlier. The fact was there with us all the time. It sort of explains when he went into so much detail. And why they stuck around to listen.

But it also led back to the idea that Robin has always been The One. Yes, her and Barney divorced a mere three years after being married. Barney found the only female he could truly love unconditionally, and devote himself to for life: a daughter. And, as it turns out, the “mother” was merely a passing love in Ted’s life until he finally got the girl he’d wanted all along.

It’s funny because from the very beginning, everyone guessed it must have been Robin. Surely, it must be. But as soon as Ted referred to her as “aunt Robin,” that theory was quickly denounced. And as soon as it was revealed that Robin was marrying Barney, again, it was further confirmed. And of course as old Ted continued to refer back to Aunt Robin and Uncle Barney in his stories, no one ever thought that perhaps they weren’t Aunt Robin and Uncle Barney as one unit. But just Aunt Robin, period, Uncle Barney.

I will admit a shed a few tears. OK, a lot. You mean Ted never really found his true love? Well, maybe actually he did. And it’s who we thought it was all along. But then what does that mean for the decade or so Ted spent with the mother? Clearly there was real love there. They bore two children. We find out that they never got married a few years after meeting, as was often implied. In fact, the mother got pregnant and they had to put off the wedding. And it was only 7 years later that they finally tied the knot in a small ceremony, two kids later.

I am struggling to recall if they ever showed flashbacks in past seasons that implied the mother was still alive. It’s so tragic, yet so beautiful. In the final scene, Ted arrives at Robin’s apartment with what else, but that blue horn. Oh, the significance.

But then you can’t help but think about everything that happened in between. Did Robin really marry Barney, still in love with Ted? Did Ted marry the mother while he was, gulp, still in love with Robin? Apparently every woman’s uncomfortable feelings about their relationship was justified. 

Were they meant to be together? Might we see, another 10 years down the road, that Ted and Robin just didn’t make sense? And they both, once again, end up alone? Clearly Robin became some major news reporter, traveling the world. How on earth would she have a great relationship with Ted, who has to stay grounded with two kids? And is clearly such a practical person? Mind you, his kids are clearly on the verge of the college years, almost ready to leave the coup. Maybe that’s what he needs. To ride off in the sunset with Robin.

I’m torn. On the one hand, I’m glad they didn’t wrap up the season with a pretty little bow. Robin and Barney live happily ever after, as does Ted and the mother. And, of course, Lily and Marshall will always be together. No, that would be too easy. Too predicable. But it would have also been closure for devoted fans who have invested 9 seasons worth of their time on the show.

But this way, there is some closure. We finally get to see Ted get the girl he went back and forth with so many times. We get to see why he’s invested so much time blabbing his life story to his kids. I’m a little disturbed, however, that the kids weren’t at least a bit upset. basically, he told them the story of how he always loved Robin, and their mom was just a passing ship in his life. Weren’t they upset? Didn’t they question his feelings for her? No, they seemed all too excited for their dad to get back out there. Mind you, supposedly 6 years had passed. But still. It just seems…wrong.

All in all, I’m happy they still managed to surprise me. I was thinking there would be a scene with the yellow umbrella, and a fast forward with the mom coming into the frame, telling everyone dinner was ready or something. But real life isn’t like that. And so many of us have related to this show so well. And real life sadly isn’t that way. Unless you’re one of the rare Lilys and Marshalls of the world.

So all in all, great ending. Sad, but great. It’s rare that I’d feel such emotion with a sitcom. But that’s a testament to the greatness of the show. In a way, these last two episodes sort of made up for the crappy season.

Now, what will be the next show to take its place?

Just Look at the Flowers

Oh. My. God. The last episode of The Walking Dead has had me reeling now for days. Not only was the episode crazy good, but it was also terribly disturbing, and touched on issues and decisions that I’m sure none of us would ever want to have to make.

The first is with Carol and her killing of Tyrone’s gal pal. Was she warranted in doing so? Clearly, Rick did not agree. Though Carol brings up some good points about how, in this world, there’s no time to think things through. You just have to make a decision and go with it.

Then it comes her decision to tell Tyrone. She had to. There was no way she could live and travel alone with this man, listening to his sob stories, and keep that kind of guilt in. She was better off telling him and having him beat the crap out of her or shoot her in the face then going on with the secret. 

On Tyrone’s end, then of course the decision comes with what to do with that knowledge. Do you pick up the gun, and kill her off? But you need her help, her support. She’s all you have. But she killed your girl. Do you let her die a slow death, then chain her to a stick like Michione did with her walker buds? Or do you forgive, but not forget, and move forward. He took that high ground and wow, I have much respect for him. I’m not sure how I could do it. Then again, we haven’t quite seen how the information will change the relationship between the two. It might not. There’s no time for emotions in this world, after all.

But worst of all is the decision with Lizzie. And it touches on a really important subject of mental illness. Clearly the girl was very mentally ill, and likely was (as they alluded to) long before the zombie apocalypse. In the real world, you’d do what you could to get her the help she needed. In this world, there’s nowhere to go. She’s a person. A living and breathing person. But she’s also a major danger to everyone else around her, not to mention her own self. Seeing what she did to her sister was clear evidence of that. It wasn’t just a matter of keeping an eye on her. She was highly dangerous. She had to go.

Apparently the social media universe lit up with Old Yeller references, and while I find that completely inappropriate, I do understand to a degree. After all, in the world they all live in, no one is really truly human. Not the mentally unstable, nor the perfectly sane. Everyone is reduced to their basic survival and animal instincts. Hunt, eat, protect, flee, and kill. 

But perhaps it was the whole “just look at the flowers” line that really sent goosebumps up my arms. How painful, how sad. And how strong of Carol to be able to make the decision and follow through with it. Most people would not be. Clearly she’s had years and years of rage and submission that she’s now letting go of. But man, she scares me. I’d have to agree with Rick and I’m not sure I’d want to be alone in a room with her when push comes to shove!

While I’m still not looking the set up of this season that only follows one group per episode, I feel like that might be about to change. After all, it’s clear the smoke Carol and Tyrone saw in this episode was from the house that Daryl and Beth just blew up. The walker left on the railroad tracks was obviously left for the purposes of timelines. I will bet in the next episode, we’ll see someone pass him and understand where everyone is relative to everyone else. They can’t all be far off. And someone will run into someone else at some point soon.

Glenn will be on Talking Dead next week, which leads one to believe that he will be featured in this episode. And given the preview footage with Daryl, it’s clear the episode will follow everyone. Where did Beth go? I’m guessing she assumed Daryl was a dead man after being cornered and took off to cry it off, then try to tough it out on her own. I feel like she may emerge at some point as a walker. I can’t see her surviving on her own.

One thing’s for sure: someone will have to die this season. Someone big. I’m guessing it’s Beth. Or maybe Sasha. It almost seems as though either Daryl or Tyrone need to feel a major loss in order to fuel their rage even further. 

Who’s your guess for who will go next?

 

 

Who Got Shot on Scandal?

Wow. I must say I reluctantly started watching Scandal when a friend recommended it. The fast-talking banter annoyed me. And Olivia’s constant puppy dog faces and all-white outfits while drinking red wine (really? Who does that) got on my nerves. Lately, the whole plot with Quinn just seems stupid. And seriously, since when did she all of a sudden become this computer programming/hacking prodigy? Much less have an interest in it? Frankly, I think they should kill her character off. But anyway, all that aside, these last few episodes have been fantastic. And the final episode of the last one left me speechless.

So, spoiler alert, stop reading if you haven’t seen it yet:

Who did Jake end up shooting? My guess is that he offed James, and Cyrus knew it was going to happen which is why he was all teary-eyed and saying he loved him. And Jake spared David, offering him the deal to join B613 and work with them in exchange for his life. Clearly, Rosen has proven himself to have fantastic detective skills. Unfortunately, he never seems to be able to see anything through! Poor guy. Anyway, that’s my theory.

What’s yours? 

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