Sep. 8th, 2016

shadowkat: (warrior emma)
1. Entertainment Weekly's Fall Television Preview came in the mail today - the dang thing is thick. It also has small print. Each year it gets thicker and the print gets smaller for the fall television issue. Also, it's the latest scoop on "!37" of the biggest shows. Seriously, on just 137 of the shows. Making one wonder how many shows actually are on the air.

It's weird, but the more television shows that pop up, the more my interest in television generally speaking wanes.

At some point, I may cancel my subscription. The content is becoming increasingly irrelevant to me - it's geared towards 18-35 year olds or rather people born after 1985. (Suffice it to say I'm over 35). And the print is tiny - I can barely read it.

2. Commute

F train was delayed. So when it finally arrived at 42nd Street, it was packed. I didn't get a seat until 34th Street. Then two stations later, packed again, at West 4th. Sometime after we hit Brooklyn, around Jay Street, the conductor's voice came over the intercom.

Conductor: This train is going express after Smith and 9th Streets. Last Stop is Church Avenue. (They have been doing this all summer long, half the trains go express after Smith and 9th, and stop at Church. Which works fine for me, since I get off at Church, but not so much for people who live at one of the 10 or so stops after that point. Or for that matter, the folks who live between Smith/9th and 7th Avenue, and 7th Avenue and Church.)
Passengers/Strap hangers: So it's stopping at Smith and 9th?
Me: Yes. They've been doing this all summer long.
Conductor: This train will go express after Smith and 9th, stopping at 7th Avenue, with Church as the last stop.

Sometime later. I look up. There's the same packed crowd of hipsters standing around. And 7th Avenue is being announced as the next stop. I think okay, that was fast and why is the train still crowded with the same people?

Passengers (about twenty people standing around me and sitting next to me): He just skipped Smith and 9th Streets?
Me: Wait, did we stop at Carroll or Bergen?
Passengers: No.
Me: And we skipped Smith and 9th?
Passengers: Yes.
Cute boyish hipster Male passenger: And I had stuff I have to return at Smith and 9th at 5pm.
Me: So the conductor basically lied to us?
Passengers (disgruntled): Yes. (they get off at 7th Avenue).

ME: Sigh, blasted MTA has the worst communication skills on the planet. (They never tell people it's going express and Church is the last stop until the last possible minute, making it impossible for them to plan.)

Will state that subway travel is never dull. It's different every day. The people are actually sort of nice and very polite, most of the time, and always interesting. Tattoos are currently in -- I've no idea why.

3. Political conversation on Facebook amongst extended family members (my father's side):

Uncle D: So I've been chosen randomly to provide one question to Clinton's running mate, Tim Caine, at the PA Town Hall Debate. No clue what to ask -- reaching out to my family for help?
Cousin T: Good God. This is going to be ugly.
Uncle D: Look, I'm serious, I'm asking for help here.
Cousin T: Then you should ask him to clarify how voters can select between two candidates that are basically not that different than choosing between coke and pepsi.
Cousin in law GM: That's actually a brilliant analogy of Trump vs. Clinton. How did we get such a horrible slate of candidates? (Except for Saint Bernie of course who can do no wrong in their eyes.)
Aunt D: Choose Doctor Pepper.
Uncle D: Family apparently is no help. Anyone else?
Uncle P: Ask him what relevance he has on the election and obtaining votes, considering all he does as VP is act as President of the Senate to break ties, and play lots of golf?

I am restraining myself from responding to this thread. So I vented to my mother.

Me: Our crazy family members or rather Uncle D's family thinks Hillary and Trump are similar to a choice between Pepsi and Coke.
Mother: Good god, you are kidding me!
Me: No. Unfortunately not. I restrained myself from entering the fray.

The problem with "hate" and "anger" is it makes people stupid. Somewhere along the way, their brains switch off, and pure emotion takes over. If politics makes you angry? Take my advice? Stop paying attention to it.
shadowkat: (Tv shows)
Well, I reviewed Entertainment Weekly's annual coverage of the Fall Television Season. The print was so tiny that I had to go to my reading glasses, the computer glasses wouldn't cut it. (I own three pairs of glasses including one pair of contacts. Distance, computer, and reading. My eyes are constantly adjusting to things. Getting old sucks, just saying.)

Anywho...only a few of the 137 television series covered leapt out at me. Most of which tended to genre series or off-the-beaten track. Many just old fare.

Of the newly minted?

1. Dirk Gentley's Holistic Detective Agency - premiering on BBC America, OCt 22, at 9PM. Stars Elijah Wood and Penny Dreadful's Samuel Barnett - based on the novels by Douglas Adams.

2. Westworld - HBO, October 2 (the other reason I can't seem to get myself to cancel my HBO subscription, even though I should) - stars Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood and James Marsden.
Based loosely on Michael Crichton's film that starred Yul Brenner. (Think the Wild West as a theme park for the rich and nasty.)

3. Falling Water - USA - OCT 13, 10 PM - Think Inception as a television series. It's a thriller about dreams bringing three people together on quest, using their dreams as the map.

4. Pitch - Sept 22, Fox, 8PM - a story about the first black woman major league pitcher for a baseball team.

5. Crown - Nov 4, Netflix - a television series about the life story of Elizabeth II from 1940s to present. Based on the play "The Audience", Matt Smith plays Prince Phillip and Clair Foy plays Elizabeth.

6. Divorce - Oct 9, HBO, 10 PM - Sarah Jessica Parker and Thomas Haden Church - a dark dramedy about a divorce.

7. Pure Genius - OCt 27, CBS, 10pm - the new drama by Jason Katims (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood) - about high tech's effects in a hospital setting.

8. Frequency - Oct 5, CW, 9PM - a young NYPD detective in 2016 contacts her long dead father on a ham radio in 1996, just before his death. Because of their conversation - he survives. But, with dire consequences to her life. Everything else changes.

9. Designated Survivor - Sept 21, ABC, 10PM - starring Keifer Sutherland, Kal Penn, Natasha McElhone. What happens when an explosion takes out everyone but one cabinet member, and that cabinet member is for The US Department of Housing and Urban Development? And he becomes President of the US by default?

10. No Tomorrow - Oct 4, 9pm, CW - Rom-Com about a girl who falls in love with a guy who believes in accomplishing as many bucket list items as possible before an asteroid is due to hit earth in eight months and 12 days.

11. Good Behavior - Nov 15, 9pm, TNT - about a female con-artist, as portrayed by Michelle Dockery of Downton Abbey, that steals, deals drugs, and reveals in a life of crime.

12. Bull - Sept 20, 9pm, CBS - stars Michael Weatherly, based on the life of Dr. Phil, who was a jury analyst prior to becoming Dr. Phil. It's co-written by Dr. Phil and the creator of House. Sort of a dark twist on the legal procedural.

13. Atlanta - Sept 6, 10PM, F/X (I missed the pilot and will have to catch it on demand) - stars Danny Glover of Community, who is also the creator/show-runner. It follosw Earn Marks, a pennisless twentysomething managing his up-and-coming rapper cousin Alred Miles while trying to honor the responsibilities he has to his best friend Van and the daughter they share.

14. Timeless - Oct 3, 10PM, NBC - written by Eric Kripke and Shawn Ryan (which I mixed feelings about, because both are a wee bit on the sexist side of the fence) -- is a television series about a group of heroes pursueing a time-traveling terrorist intent on changing key historical events. One episode deals with Abraham Lincoln's assassination, another focuses on Rat-Pack Era Las Vegas and the rumored mistress of Frank Sinatra, JFK and Chicago Mobster, and a third on Ian Fleming helping them solve a problem in Nazi Germany during WWII. And the writers seem to be aware of the butterfly effect problem in regards to time travel -- so it will most likely work for me. (I only like time travel stories that deal with the butterfly effect.)

15. Better Things - Sept 8, 10PM, F/X - co-created by Louis CK. About struggling actress Pamela Aldon's semi-autographical life as a struggling actor, mother, and realist - dark comedy, in the same vein as Louis.

16. Van Helsing - Sept 23, 10pm, Syfy - sort of a twisted, mature, less campy, not as witty, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Vanessa Van Helsing is awakes from a coma only to discover that vampires have conquered the world and she has supernatural abilities, and oh both the vampires and humans are trying to control her. Apparently her bite can cure vampirism in a person and turn them human. It's interesting because the writers have created various types of vampires, and the slayer is female.
Stars the Kelly Overton.

17. Crisis in Six Scenes - Sept 30, Amazon, written by Woody Allen and Elaine May, starring Woody Allen, Elaine May, John Magaro, Rachel Brosnahan and Miley Cyrus. Basically think Woody Allen's version of All in the Family. Most of it ad-libbed.

18. Goliath - Oct 14, Amazon, stars Billy Bob Thornton, Willaim Hurt, Molly Parker, and Dwight Yokham - by David E. Kelly. It's about a hard drinking down on his luck trial lawyer who catches a malpractice case against a corporate behmoth and sleeps with his client along the way. (Reminds me a bit of Better Call Saul meets A Civil Action by way of Boston Legal.)

19. Good Girls Revolt - Oct 26, Amazon - The female response to Mad Men, inspired by the book "Good Girls Revolt - How the Women of Newsweek Sued Their Bosses and Changed the Workplace. It follows a group of female researchers - at a newsmagazines that's holding them back due to their gender in the 1960s.

20. Incorporated - Nov 30, Syfy - 10PM - about a world run by large corporations and divided into Green Zones for the Wealthy and Red Zones for the poor. A man born in the Red Zone infilitrates the Green under a false identity to find a missing woman from his past. When she finally resurfaces years later, he struggles to leave his wife and cushy white collar life as a junior executive in the Green Zone behind. Basically corporate espinoage meets sci-fi.

21. Sweet/Vicious - Nov 15, MTV, 10 PM - About a college soriority girl who spends her nights beating up sexual offenders, friendship with another woman, a classic college loner. Think Buffy the Vampire Slayer in College without the metaphors.

[I may also try The Good Place, This is Us and Aftermath, and possibly Chicago Med, but am on the fence.]
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