Archive for the ‘TV’ Category

‘LOST’: The Mourning After

June 18, 2011

And the screen went suddenly black, right after Jerry Seinfeld woke up from his six-season dream and danced off the soundstage with Phylicia Rashad…

 Photo by ABC

It’s something like 11pm on May 23rd, 2010, and LOST is finally, officially over. The Sideways world was Purgatory. Sort of. And everyone’s Desmond-induced “awakenings” were really just a means of getting them to “cross over” to the Great Beyond. Maybe? At the very least Richard got a gray hair early in the episode — that definitely happened. (I think I’m finally starting to get the hang of this show!) I have no idea whether I like this finale or not, but know that I don’t absolutely hate it. Establishing a baseline is important for any kind of critical analysis.

…It’s now one year later, a new era, and with the emotional dust long-since settled and all the apologists having taken their specific talents to Fringe, the time feels right to really ask (free of anything to do with the goddamn lighthouse): “What the hell was it all about?”

Let’s find out TOGETHER. Read on!

A Momentary Break from Stupid Internet Crap

May 6, 2011

Last year GOOGLE interrupted a perfectly dry-eyed Super Bowl to air a heart-rending commercial about boundless Franco-American love, and in the process made me cry (Editor’s note: JK!). This Tuesday, stuffed into an episode of Glee, they released a new commercial that makes their former triumph look like Nazi propaganda.

There is almost nothing I can write here that Thought Catalog hasn’t already explored with more eloquence and understanding, but it bears (refocused) repeating:

The Internet, these days essentially a semi-anonymous microcosm of the larger physical world, can be a nasty place that seems infinite in its capacity for snark, artifice, and general bullshit. It’s like a horribly backwards Wild West, populated entirely by saloon owners and snake-oil salesman (and showgirls — PORN) with few lawmen around to keep the peace. The Dark Knight Rises costuming rumors and Perez Hilton doodles run wild in the town square, unchecked.

But every so often, a determined cowboy rides into town to redress this imbalance; to set things back on the side of the consequential, and good. Whether it’s Dan Savage and the “It Gets Better” campaign or Arab Spring social mobilization or something else, it’s a powerful reminder that in the best hands, this stupid network of chattering computers might actually do something to change the world.

“There’s art to be made…there are songs to be sung.”

I know I’m re-appropriating that message for an entirely different end, but it remains too true regardless.

In conclusion: let’s all make a pact right now to not let things like Charlie Sheen or Rebecca Black happen ever again. On 3…2…

Pop Culture Nostalgia: A National Concern

October 29, 2010

I’m gonna strap on this guitar here and just JAM for a second. Feel free to pick up that bass and join in!

Leafing through my “Junk” feed on Google Reader this morning, as I do every morning, I clicked on a post featuring fan-made Star Wars posters. This is pretty standard — the sites I subscribe to means new Star Wars posters pretty much every day — and in most cases, something I look forward to. The Internet has only democratized creativity, to the point where anyone, anywhere can share their work and expect some kind of feedback (even if it’s from a family member). A good thing! But then Glass-Half-Empty Henning perked up, remembered some questionable developments of the past few months, and considered the posters in another context. An ALARMING context. The bullet points came all too quickly:

– Back to the Future celebrating its 25th anniversary with a new Blu-ray release, videogame, and…Playboy spread.
– The Rocky Horror Picture Show, 35 years old, recreated for no real reason on Glee. (Editor’s note: …And it is — shockingly! — still NOT VERY GOOD.)
– The Sound of Music (45!) cast reunited on Oprah. Because that’s just something the people want? Okay.

It only gets worse after the jump!

In Closing, A Poem… Goodbye ‘LOST’

May 23, 2010

Have you ever been ‘LOST’?

Have you ever been a man (or woman) of faith?
Have you ever craved peanut butter so badly you could taste?
Have you ever felt… out of place?

If you could change any moment, would you choose a different path?
If you had to save a loved one, would you suffer a smoke monster’s wrath?

Could you initiate a gigantic blast, if it meant saving your friends from having to relive their pasts?
Could you face another flash, if it meant having to listen to a cocky conman’s sass?

Would you suffer through pain, in a ditch, in the rain…
Knowing you were destined to be the pawn in someone else’s game?
Returning on a raft, could you handle all the fame?
Could you lie to all the world and pretend that you were sane?

Have you ever feared ten numbers or written hundreds of names on a wall?
Have you saved a man’s life who just experienced a devastating fall?
Have you escaped from a collapsed cave by struggling through a crawl?
Have you ever felt betrayed, seeing an old friend run to snag a football?

Would you turn another key…. to save one, instead of many?
Would you push the button? Jump down a well? Torture someone just to see…
A phone ringing, a freighter, a call on Christmas Eve

Could you kill your husband, when looking down the sights?
The father of your child, left to only whisper in the night
If you had to make a choice between what was wrong and what was right,
could you stab your mother in the back in search of a golden light?

Have you ever been left facing the barrel of a gun?
Have you ever gotten free but watched on as someone takes your son?
Have you ever desired answers but had to settle for just one?
Have you ever committed arson and spent your entire life on the run?

Could you promise to save a man, you hate with all your being?
If a cripple began to walk, would seeing become believing?
If you were shot in the back as a child, would you still be left breathing?
If you knew you’d never come back would you still plan on leaving?

Have you drank a bottle of McCutcheon and told your life story while you were sauced?
Have you ever stepped over a line of ash that’s never been crossed?
Have you died? Have you been reborn? Have you lost the ability to walk?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, then you know what’s its like… to have been LOST

Click here to download a PDF version!

‘LOST’ + The Get Up Kids = Emo Fantasy Tie-Ins

February 23, 2010


OK, as of right now I am looking at t-minus seven hours until official PST LOST episode commencement. Needless to say, like most of the western world who is unfortunately being disappointed yet still gripped by the final season, my mind is a jumble of theories, flash-forwards, flashbacks, and insignificant (or are they?) points about the show. A few weeks back, after a hearty drinking session with a co-worker who shared most, if not all, of my music listening habits of the late 1990s, I went back and started listening again to one of my all time favorite bands The Get Up Kids [RIP]. Headed down this path of musical re-enlightenment, little did I know that my constantly wandering LOST-mind would draw uncanny parallels to songs I have listened to for years without ever making a connection.

I present to you, readers, the song “Valentine” by TGUK: a quintessential track off their quintessential album, Something To Write Home About. This song defined what people came to love about the band. It also ultimately led to their downfall as the band, increasingly tired of their “emo” moniker, felt forced to aggressively alter their sound and, in turn, alienate many fans. The song is below in video form and the lyrics are found after the jump. Bear with me for the mind-melting LOST tie-in.

Craving more?

Are You Ready For Some [Kleenex]?

February 8, 2010

Come on. I spend two hours reminding myself how I should hate my girlfriend, buy moderately priced new cars to reassert my masculinity, and check out GoDaddy! for HOTTT Web-only videos…only to be utterly emotions-slapped by a GOOGLE commercial all about finding love in a foreign land. (And not aborting the baby — Tebow approves!) You made me cry, and now I’ve got to drink twice as much Budweiser Golden Wheat just to break even on the man scale. And probably buy stock in Doritos, too. I hate Doritos!

Your striking, poignant storytelling? It’s killing me. Fuck you, Don Draper.


PS – Those Volkswagen and Late Show ads you did were also pretty good. Grizzly Bear is totally this year’s Phoenix!

Lifting Fog Live: ‘LOST’ Season Six Premiere on Waikiki Beach

February 1, 2010

Occasionally DJ Steve and I work up the courage to leave the comfortable glow of our computers and actually, you know, go outside. Turns out there’s an exciting and unpredictable world out there! LIFTING FOG LIVE is where we catalog those real-world adventures and move from the realm of “I found this online” to “I did this for real.” Hold onto your butts.


It was really something of a special DHARMA treat — and an amazing case of cosmic fate — that I was in Oahu, HI and on Waikiki Beach Saturday night for the world premiere of LOST‘s sixth and final season. The last one! No more! After five years of loyal viewing and a fruitless number of hours spent researching quantum physics, I was finally granted the chance to come face to face with the show’s cast and crew…and, of course, to watch the first hour of Tuesday’s season premiere. You say you haven’t seen it? I’m sorry! It’s all too appropriate that a show founded on dividing viewers keep the tradition alive as it nears the finish line.

But forget the fact that I now know more than any of you about Kate hooking up with Locke, or Frogurt turning out to be the Smoke Monster. Saturday night wasn’t about lingering questions, BROTHER, but about celebrating a show that’s come to represent so much more than just a great mystery story. 10,000 NERDS, all nerdier than me, were in attendance at the event. An absolutely nuts amount of nerds (I’ve got the photos to prove it!), and something that speaks less to a “great turnout” than it does a sense of community and shared cultural experience; a tie that, even though rooted in something fictional, means quite a bit to a great many people.

The whole story after the jump!

‘Mad Men’: Spot the Anachronism!

September 4, 2009

Mad-Men-Don-DraperThere was a brief moment in Sunday’s Mad Men (really under-the-radar show, no one watches it) where junior ad man Paul Kinsey reached into his pocket and I, along with everyone I was watching with, thought he was going to pull out a cell phone. To call someone. In 1963! This would have been a glaring historical inaccuracy, obviously — and anyway would never have made it past creator Matthew Weiner’s (whose obsessive attention to detail borders on psychopathic) gaze — but it got me thinking… How much funnier an hour-long comedy would Mad Men be with some well-placed “spot the anachronism” Easter eggs for superfans and other easily flustered viewers? So much funnier, right? Consider the following proposal for a very special April Fool’s Day episode:

Read on!

‘Entourage’ Plot as Boring as its Characters’ Lives

August 3, 2009

Oh how clever those writers at Entourage must have felt when they outlined the plot of this week’s episode. Like some well edjumacated film and television critics, I understand that real art occurs when the plot of a fictional television show transcends the veneer of ‘entertainment’ and manages to convey issues or stories that mimic real world problems or issues, enabling a viewer to connect to a story on a deeply personal level. Like when the writers of White Shadow were able to effectively reflect the absurdity of their own position, writing dialogue for “urban” (read as: black) teens, by depicting the white coach of an all black basketball team as a father figure. This was considered by many as ground breaking television. And now we have this week’s episode of Entourage to consider. (more…)

Hulu Isn’t As Good As It Should Be, Right?

May 21, 2009
Who were the ad wizards that came up with this one?

Who were the ad wizards that came up with this one?

As soon as any new tech wave breaks from the vast, endless sea of start-ups, gadgets, and Twitter trends, I am always the first one to ride. For whatever reason, I was late to the Hulu party but now I’m not quite sure why I bothered RSVPing, let alone attending. Here’s the theory: offer easy-to-use online streaming of popular television shows and movies and support the typical advertising backend with embedded short, socially conscientious promotional material. Man, I have to say, that sounds AWESOME! And now the reality: HULUFAIL. Last night I wanted to watch some quality network television dramatic programming on the internet. To my horror, Kings has yet to post another episode beyond Ep 5: Judgment Day. The wheels in my head began turning: what is a new show I was mildly interested in watching  but missed the premiere of? Joss Whedon’s next attempt at Buffy success, Dollhouse was the first thing that came to mind. And what episodes of the show was Hulu featuring? Episodes 8 – 12. I’m sure I can figure out what’s going on by starting with Episode 8 of a highly complex, sci-fi geek-out show about people who exist in multiple worlds at the same time… oh wait… I can’t, because my IQ isn’t 300.

(It’s closer to 176, but still.) Keep reading!