Last night on TV I witnessed a highly disturbing thing. I was watching Family Guy and during one of the commercial breaks, an ad for Mitsubishi cars came on. The background music sounded oddly familiar. It had a throbbing, distorted bass line, scratchy guitars and a powerful yet swinging drum beat. And then all of a sudden I heard Mark E. Smith‘s voice. What the hell? Yes, that’s right, The Fall are helping to sell American cars now.

Judge for yourself, does this song make you want to buy Mitsubishi automobiles?

Don’t even get me started on Of Montreal and Outback Steakhouse.

Top Drunk

The wife and I watched the reunion show of Top Chef last night. Next week they will pick a winner, so this week they brought everyone back on the show to bitch about each other and drink. And drink they did. This was the drunkenest reunion show ever. “I’m not your bitch, bitch” Dave went overboard with his “Tiffany is a bitch” theme and Steven went waaay overboard trying to repair his arrogant image on the show. Steven was slurring so badly during his apology to Candice that it was just embarrasing to watch.

At the end of the show they made the 3 finalists leave the set so everyone could make their predictions. Harold is the only one of the remaining three that deserves to win. He has consistenly shown what it takes to be a true chef. Tiffany has talent but is too, dare I say it, bitchy to gain any respect and Dave is just an emotional mess.

I personally think that the winner is going to surprise everyone. My prediction is:


Poking Fun

I caught a few minutes of that new television show, Commander in Chief, last night. Man, this show is not flinching when it comes to lobbing thinly veiled criticisms of the current Commander in Chief through your television set each night.

In last night’s episode, Geena Davis’ character, Madam President, is visiting Florida after a deadly hurricane (hmm, I wonder where the writers came up with that crazy premise). She’s visiting some evacuees in an airplane hangar somewhere when it becomes necessary for one of her assistants to tell the President about an oil tanker that is in trouble off the coast of Florida. She is reading a children’s story to a group of kids when the staffer approaches and whispers in her ear. Without missing a beat, Geena Davis stands up, says “now who wants to finish reading this story” to the kids and quickly walks away. I laughed and laughed.

My wife turned around and said to me, “you’re going to write about this on themuy tomorrow, aren’t you?” Yes, honey. Yes I am.

Everyone’s Waiting

Warning: this post is about the series finale of Six Feet Under. If you don’t want to know what happens, stop reading.

The wife and I gathered around the computer monitor last night to watch our downloaded copy of the series finale of Six Feet Under (we don’t have HBO, so I’ve been downloading each episode using Bittorrent). We have watched this show since the very first episode. It hasn’t been a perfect television series, but it has come pretty damn close over the years and we were excited to see how Alan Ball would tie everything up. Well, I join my wife in proclaiming that Mr. Ball did an amazing job.

This was one of the most rewarding final episodes to a television series I’ve ever seen. It was life affirming, crushingly sad, funny, bittersweet, joyful, inspiring, hopeful and entirely original. It transcended television and became art. Like all good art, it momentarily changes your perception of the world and gives you a richer, fuller view of life around you. Getting ready for work this morning, I was still thinking about the show, still in the haze of its effect. I feel that this show will stay with me for some time.

The wife commented that it was nice to see how all of the characters ended up, and I agree. Seeing how each one of them died was a fitting end to a show about, but not fixated on, death. I can’t explain it, but the final montage scene as Claire is driving to New York felt to me like a very realistic view of a lifetime. The shortness of life, all of the cliched ‘you only live once’ sayings, carpe diem, etc. It really came home to me during that scene. I felt the finality of death stronger than I ever have before. I will die some day. Will it be like Federico, collapsing from a heart attack on a cruise ship? Will I be shot by some random person like Keith? There’s no way to know. The only certainty is that the day I die is rapidly approaching from an unknown distance.

The final scene really gave you a sense of closure too. It was a great way to say goodbye to these characters that were so original and true to life. After watching this episode, there really aren’t any unanswered questions. Unlike the death of a person, where the survivors almost always feel cheated in some way, the death of this series was oddly satisfying. Yes, it was sad, but only in a sense that we won’t be able to watch these characters ever again. Salon‘s Heather Havrilesky sums it up nicely:

But instead of feeling sad over the loss of these characters, the last episode of the show somehow pointed forward, allowing me not only to let go of them, but also to abandon years of conditioning to expect or even require a concrete happy ending, and to simply hope for the best for them — and for myself, somehow.

This series finale elevated a sometimes uneven television show into one of the best television shows ever, in my opinion. It tied everything together so perfectly, that I’m willing to forgive some of the crappier episodes throughout the years. This was a truly inspiring television series that managed to grab you, shake you, and tell you that, as Nate would say, “You only get one life. Don’t fuck it up.”

Thank you, Alan Ball, and everyone else who contributed to this amazing show.

Read more about this episode:

Character Obituaries []
Buried Alive []
An Alan Ball postmortem []
Six Feet Under Finale []
Six Feet Under, 2001-2005 []

Six Feet Under (spoiler alert)

Okay, it’s been a few days and I think I’ve calmed down enough to talk about this rationally now. So, here it goes.

Do you watch Six Feet Under? Well, did you see this week’s episode? One word: wow. What a major development. I can’t believe the writer’s had the balls to do something this extreme. The wife and I felt like we were punched in the gut. We just couldn’t believe it.

It’s going to be interesting to see how they resolve everything in the end. Of course, Mrs. Fisher doesn’t even know yet because she was out camping with Hiram, so they’ll have to spend a good deal of next week’s episode with that plot line. I hope she doesn’t freak out too much. And then there’s David. Poor guy. He’s going to be crushed for sure.

Well, I don’t want to spoil it for you if you haven’t seen it yet, so don’t read any further if that’s the case.

Claire is dating a republican.

I know, I know, I couldn’t belive it either. What the hell are those writers smoking?

TV Challenge

The wife and I were watching some TeeVee last night when she challenged me to find something good to watch that wasn’t a) reality tv or b) a home improvement show. I know that technically a home improvement show is reality tv, but the home improvement format has been around long before Survivor® and it’s ilk reared their demon heads, so we consider it a distinct tv flavor.

We had just finished watching the Amazing Race and had enjoyed that show, so don’t think that we consider reality tv unwatchable. The wife just wanted to challenge me. I proceeded to click around looking for a good show to watch. I clicked and I clicked, but every single show I landed on fit into the above 2 categories. Every single one. It was hilarious. There is nothing on television these days except reality tv or home improvement shows.

I quickly gave up. I landed on the following show and we watched the whole damn thing (please help us).

Dog the Bounty Hunter

Faris Tilton

Yesterday a friend of mine suggested that I mention Paris Hilton on my blog so I would get more hits. I can’t believe he thinks that I’m so shallow that I would stoop to mentioning someone (Paris Hilton) just to increase my Web traffic. I would expect a little more respect than that. Jeez, you think you know someone pretty well and then they start assuming things about you that are preposterous (kind of like how Paris Hilton thought she knew her boyfriend pretty well and didn’t expect him to show that video they made to anyone else, but I digress.) and reflects how little they in fact do know about you.

If I were to start talking about Paris Hilton, it would be kind of interesting to see just how much of an increase in traffic that would bring, but I’m not going to do it (write Paris Hilton on my blog). My (2) loyal readers expect just a little more of me and I’m not going to disappoint them. I think Paris Hilton would agree with me as well.

So, let me repeat, I am not going to write the words “Paris Hilton” on my blog in some shallow attempt to benefit from the traffic that would result from people typing “Paris Hilton” in a search engine somewhere.

And I definitely will NOT mention Paris Hilton’s Sex Tape. I’m sorry, but I have morals and will simply not go there.

Idiot’s Box

Anyone who knows Tim knows he likes him his teevee. So, you’ll probably be surprised to learn that yesterday the wife and I cancelled our Dish network and TiVo subscriptions (gasp!). That’s right, the TV is fuzzy in themuy household these days. We’re goin’ solamente broadcast, bay bee.

But why, Tim? Why make the boob tube go dark? And don’t you love that new fangled TiVo thingy?

Well I’ll tell you, dear reader, it wasn’t an easy decision. And indeed it was a sad time yesterday as I packed up the trusty TiVo box and stored it away for safe keeping. There were many mitigating factors as to why we decided to cut the cable, but the two most important things were time and money. We just have too much going on right now to justify spending $75 a month on televised entertainment. The wife’s trying to get her jewelry business off the ground and with my full time job, musical commitments, freelance web design work, web hosting business, running schedule and mild addiction to online gambling, that leaves little time for zoning out in front of the blue screen.

Will we ever turn the prime time pump back on? I’m sure we will eventually. But for now, it’s a little bit quieter in themuy household. So far, no TV is okay by me.