Monday, June 05, 2006

A half-dozen hours I'm never getting back

I caught some of the season finales and the like this past month and I'm utterly fucking thrilled that I didn't waste my time doing something more worthless like stabbing myself in the head or learning to play an instrument or something.

Desparate Housewives' finale was flat-out, "I'm not racist, I have some colored friends that I dream of date raping" creepy racist. The writers seem like good well meaning folks whose main qualification that allows them to write brilliant roles for Asian people is that they once made a meal out of two packets of Oriental Flavor Maruchan instant noodles and then Adam Corolla taught them how to pull their eyes back and switch their "R"s and "L".

In continuing their intensely positive portrayal of folks of color, they revealed that the black teenager murdered his slutty Asian girlfriend, who was crazy, and did I mention slutty, and also reminded him that "dating girls like me has its advantages".

Meanwhile, the Latino dude was caught cheating on his Latina wife with their live-in Chinese maid who speak pigeon English and is supposed to be a virgin because Chinese people haven't discovered sex yet. After all, that's why there's 1.5 billion of us--1.5 billion immaculate conceptions. We are God's chosen people.

There was some stupid shit too about the manipulative whiny white woman not trusting her hot husband, kidnapping the kids, displaying her shit for parenting skills and it turning out that while he was Melrose Place, he fathered some kid with a crazy woman, and she's going to move in, but to be honest, I got distracted by some birds chirping outside, so I tried to figure out what they might be saying rather than paying attention to the show.

Teri Hatcher had some sort of story too, but she got nervous, clumsy and embarassed and messed it up, and then that plumber guy, who is the only reason anyone watches the show got killed by a hit-and-run driver. That's like the fourteenth person to get killed by a hit-and-run driver on that one block in the last year, so if I were them I would stop spending so much money on drugs and hairstyles and maybe get some body armor or something.

Alien head freaklady was institutionalized or something and then she attacked some people or something to escape. I think I remember something about her having acid for blood, and so when she was cornered, she shot some blood in this guy's eyes and ran for freedom, but I might be confusing things.

Anyway, all-in-all it was really good, and I suggest that you buy the DVD when it comes out along with "Crash" and "Birth of a Nation". If you get them from Amazon, they will probably be bundeled together.

I was going to check out Lost cause I hadn't see it yet, but about two minutes in they said something about killing off Michelle Rodriguez, and I was like, "Well then what's the fucking point of watching the same stupid story replayed over and over from different perspectives if one of them is not Michelle Rodriguez's?"
I had it on in the background a little bit more and found out that she got killed by one of the other people--I think it was the bad black father stereotype. Like that's realistic? I understand that it's fiction, but how in the hell is anyone going to kill Michelle Rodriguez? If Michelle Rodriguez, Hannibal Lector, Rambo, and Meg Ryan were in the same room, Michelle would poison Lector by forcefeeding him Meg Ryan and then beat Sly to death with the cannibal's corpse.Then she would drink a pitcher of rubbing alcohol and drive a strech humvee through a crowd of kindergarten kids. But don't worry, they would be bad kindergarteners, each and every last one of them.

Seriously, I don't get that show. Who crashlands on Hawaii and then spends the whole time whining about who is hooking up with whom? I swear, just flag down a tourist liner and go chill on Waikiki beach and find a staff of writers for whom it is humanly possible to write episodes more than 4 hours in advance of shooting. I mean it's only a multi-million dollar program, why wouldn't you treat it like a paper for a bad philosophy class. "Don't worry, the episode's not due until tomorrow. Let's just smoke up and then turn in the same paper from the first quarter BACKWARDS! That would be awesome!"

Finally, let's get to what was my favorite show on television. WHAT HAPPENED TO GREY'S ANATOMY?!?!?

Shonda Rhimes is a good writer. I keep telling myself this because I want to believe it and I do sincerely believe it. But I'm sorry, I don't care if you were trained by Bill Shakespeare, Yazawa Ai and the guy who drew Bazooka Joe comics, if you choose to write a three-part episode with all three-parts written by different people who are not allowed to talk to each other or meet each other or even hear breath of the other's existence, you might as well leave the writing to the monkeys with the typewriters. (How do the monkeys even find typewriters anymore? Are these technophobic monkeys?)

Between the three writers, oh wait, make that four writers and three different directors, they somehow managed to make me hate every single character on the show except for the ones they chose to kill off or severely injure. Remember--this is my favorite show, I loved pretty much all of the characters.

But this week:
Anemic main character who only has like two different facial expressions:
Gets BF to confess love and intense vulnerability to her. Smiles and nods. Runs out of room to have sex with misogynist, married asshole who called her a slut, but admittedly does have very nice hair.

Misogynist, married asshole who called her a slut, but admittedly does have very nice hair:
Leaves his wife at the prom (don't ask) and has sex with intern he had an illicit affair with while not telling her about his wife and then crushed her heart and then whined a lot and acted non-committal.

Emotional, working-class heroine trapped in underwear model's body:
Stole a transplant heart that belonged to some guy with two kids because she wanted to hook-up with her patient. Her patient was a pretty cool guy who OF COURSE refused, but she waved her tits around a bit and got him to totally drop his principles in order to propose to a crazy woman and then he died.

Cool patient who was hooking up with above crazy girl:
He was actually pretty cool, and now he's dead, but I suppose they can still bring him back next season as a stuffed mascot or something.

Driven, model-minority-ish super-intern Yang:
I loved her character and her relationship with Isiah Washington. So they have Isiah get shot and then she just ignores him. I understand why she was conflicted and it was hard and everything, but it's the man you love in deep distress!!! If you can't step up to the plate then, what's the point of caring about anyone ever? I'm sorry, if you don't like washing dishes or going outside in direct sunlight or something, sure waffle around a bit. But when the person you love is in trouble, who sits on their ass being conflicted about how to intervene?

Regular, cool Asian American intern guy:
This character is awesome.

Talking horse who can perform brain surgeries and also raise people from the dead AFTER cremation:
This character is also awesome and much more likely to appear on the show than the above character.

Isiah Washington:
He is a God among men, so they shot him randomly and he's possibly going to lose his ability to perform surgeries. To be fair, this was dramatic and thoughtfully written--easily the best sub-plot in the last show.

All the other interns:
Why did people support crazy woman's scheme to steal that poor guy's heart (literally, I'm not talking about the guy who proposed to, I'm talking about the guy from whom she stole a beating heart so that his oxygen deprived body would slowly suffocate and die)? This is not "Who graffitied all over the garage?" Or "Who threw spitballs while the teacher's back was turned?" This is "Who forgot the Hippocratic Oath and decided that she could kill random people because she's 'in love'?"

I'm willing to chalk it up to sweeps and ratings grabs and give them credit for the second to last episode."Damage Case" which had a great performance by super-actor John Cho.

I saw some other stupid crap too, but I've permanently blocked it from my mind. What I can say is that "Deal or No Deal" is probably the worst TV show--no strike that, worst creation in the history of the human race. This is show that Carson Daly has been able to satirize brilliantly. And let's face it, Carson Daly is pretty, has powerful friends, is actually a relatively intelligent guy, but he is in no way a thoughtful critic or humorist.

Anyway, that all was quite a bit more negative than I'm used to being, so I hope I don't turn anyone off. I do feel a lot better having invested another hour into writing about wasting time watching these shows.

If you are curious about my new favorite show on television, I'm going to have to go with "Boston Legal". There's nothing better than 50+ year olds having sex all over the place.

8 Comments:

Blogger Matthew said...

What a post, Xian!

I oscillated between laughing and feeling frustrated with the state of popular television these days, and the portrayal and representation of minorities in it.

You critiqued these programs quite well. And I'm sorry about Grey's Anatomy. I know how much you like (liked) it.

3:35 AM  
Anonymous janet said...

WORD on grey's. i was so disappointed. freaking prom in a hospital. they just got everything wrong. and some people are all like, i LOVED the finale. it was so CRAZY!!!! and i can't help but hate them and start ranting like i'm doing right now so i'll stop.

10:15 AM  
Blogger xian said...

Matt: Thanks! Yeah, that's good media for you right? All we need now is some show about people competing with dangerous, stupid human tricks to eat up our summer!

Thank you ABC!

Janet:
It actually helps to hear that. There's a small group of folks who said the same thing, so I'm holding out hope that some people actually like more about the show than the white-washed 12 year-old love triangles.

On the flipside, you have to people saying that "Katherine Heigl deserves a golden globe for that performance!"

I swear, there were a couple scene where I was like, "Where's the bomb squad? Can't we level the place and start over? Maybe we can spin-off into the life of John Cho, who practices vigilant street medicine ever since he was kicked out of his program and 90% of Americans lost access to facilities like Seattle Grace."

12:52 PM  
Blogger Ironcheffie said...

You CLEARLY did not catch the 24 Finale.

OH man it was hilarious.

I have a running bet taht the "Chinese Agent" That tricked Jack into walking into an ambush is not in fact Chinese. The actor was totally Thai.

1:35 PM  
Blogger Ironcheffie said...

I swear, there were a couple scene where I was like, "Where's the bomb squad? Can't we level the place and start over? Maybe we can spin-off into the life of John Cho, who practices vigilant street medicine ever since he was kicked out of his program and 90% of Americans lost access to facilities like Seattle Grace."

Yeah, but you know the TV show will have some stupid shit where John Cho uses an "Ancient Chinese Secret" to cure a guy...

WHEN JOHN CHO IS FUCKING KOREAN

11:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree. I love Greys Anatomy even MORE thanks to the season finale; it really helped me understand the characters.

Ex: Yang. I could not STAND how she didn't go to Isiah as well, but if you read Shonda Rhimes Blog (like from Wikipedia, down at the bottom) it helps to understand Yangs role. She respects and admires Burke. She loves him, but in a sense she does idealize him as well, and to see him in pain- not the one in charge, not the one holding her hand, shook her. She didn't know how to handle it, because she was always trying to be 'on top of things'. But she couldn't be on top of this- because it was too personal, too deep (Which explains part of her scene with the Doctor) and shattered her idealism.

At the end, when she took Burkes hand, it showed that she decided to be there for him; she could handle him, even when he couldn't handle himself of her.

...^^;; I'm guessing you are not a Meredith fan? Then I won't get into her scene, except that her having sex with McDreamy was caused by BOTH of them, and they love eachother, which- 'love' in this show, is not a choice. I suppose their emotions washed over them; sure, the viewer may be mad *more than likely if they are an Addison fan*, but it's a great part of Greys: people making mistakes. They both became carried away, and depending on your stance in their relationship, it can be a GOOD thing.

Alex. Through his scene with Izzie, he was able to let go of his fury toward Izzie. And Izzie, through it all, had to let go of her idealism of medicine, and- perhaps in the process, her ideals of being a Doctor. She made a mistake as well, but once again, love is deep here, and she loved Denny enough to do whatever it took to save him. (Not saying this is an excuse, but it provides a REASON).

The Prom scene was, in my mind, brillant, and very unique. I'm surprised there are some who did not enjoy the season finale, seemingly, at all. The actors and actresses portrayed scenes so vivid and well...and this is a new step with everyone.

While it is a disappoint to find fans were turned away, I am sure there were many more born.^^ Maybe Greys is no longer your favorite TV show- as it continuously happens to be mine, but maybe you will still support Shonda and every actor and actress, and watch the show in the upcoming season.

10:26 PM  
Blogger xian said...

Tony:
John Cho! John Cho! Bobby Lee! It's John Cho! Bobby Lee-John Cho!!!!

Anonymous:
Thanks for taking the time to go to bat for the show. I will support the show for Shonda, who is awesome, and for the actors on the show, several would be at the top of the acting world if it weren't for that pesky skin-color thing :(

I can empathize with the characters in the situations, but I can't forgive them. Part of being a grown-up is that you can't just rationalize away being a despicable person because it's hard to be a good one.

If Meredith is supposed to be a 14 year-old kid, as I suspect is the writers' intention, I suppose it's a little more understandable.

All I know though is that no good love can grow out of a lack of humanity toward other people.

I'll write more on this in a new post.

With Yang, I understood why it was hard, but I've seen that too many times. Walking away from your loved one because you are scared when they are in their time of need is a deal-breaker. If that's your MO, your lover is better served find ALMOST ANYONE except you.

Good people find a way to love their loved ones in a time of need.

Thanks!

12:09 AM  
Anonymous julio said...

Xian Hey its me Julio Diaz I lost your phone number so I couldnt call you so call me back please or email me like I told you

Remember Julio

4:32 PM  

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