Category Archives: After the Show

Between asphalt and waves, give me waves

I’m enough of an Alton Brown fan to catch his short-run series, Feasting on Asphalt, but I can’t say AB’s trips across the country and up the Mississippi River really engaged me all that much. But I’m absolutely digging the third incarnation of the series, Feasting on Waves.

With the other two series, you essentially had fat Americans frying shit to holy hell. It really got boring after a while. But Feasting on Waves actually features foods that are new and unknown — indigenous fruits, local cocktails, exotic locales and colorful people. (Or people of color, for that matter.)

I find that far more interesting. If anything, Feasting on Waves is much like Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, minus the hard-boiled tone, plus AB’s self-deprecating humor.

If AB never travels across the US for the next installment of this series, it will be too soon. (Although Feasting on Waves II ought to focus on Hawaiʻi.) I’m wondering, though, if a trip through Mexico or Canada is the next order of business.

Viewing habits, or lack thereof

I’ve seen a lot of press in the news about the effects of the writer’s strike. The break in production resulted in a loss of viewership from which the networks have yet to recover. It’s tough to keep up with appointment viewing when the appointments have been canceled.

I have to say the break made me re-evaluate my viewing habits. With nothing to watch during the strike, it was easy for me to focus my attention on other endeavors. TiVo also has made it easier to wean myself from anything that isn’t absolutely essential, which these days means Battlestar Galactica.

I just spent today catching up on the last four episodes of Brothers & Sisters. The shows have been waiting on my TiVo for a good month now.

Being a TV whore was a lot easier when I didn’t have a TiVo to unshackle me from the futon, nor a lengthy hiatus that made me not miss anything at all.

The summer premieres of shows I like don’t happen till the middle of July, and I’m now caught up on the fall shows. So it’s a good time to review and preview in bullet points.

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Knee-jerk reactions: 2007 fall season

I just wanted to jot some notes down. As if I have the luxury of time to write a real entry for this site:

  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Get rid of Adam Beach and bring back Mike Doyle, please.
  • Desperate Housewives Still can’t fucking stand Gaby and Susan. I kind of liked how they were softening Edie last season, but oh well — it was nice when it lasted. I think the Season Pass is going to get removed at some point.
  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent This show is still CSIzed, but at least it’s not as heavy-handed as last season.
  • Bleach Goddamn, I hate the Don Kanonji episodes.
  • Dirty Sexy Money I should care about a bunch of bored rich white people, why?
  • Pushing Daisies Could have sworn I programmed the pilot to be recorded.
  • Chuck So far my favorite new show, even if Matthew Bomer is shown only in passing.

There’s nothing good on TV tonight anyway

When I was growing up, summer meant nothing but re-runs. Today, summer is a TV season is pretty much synonymous with a glut of reality series. But two of my favorite shows have summer seasons, so I’m not all that convinced by that reputation.

I’ve been meaning to write this entry for a long time, but I’ve been sidetracked all summer by work in my recording studio. As I’ve mentioned before, TiVo has actually been responsible for my watching more shows but fewer hours of television. How is that possible? Maybe it’s all just perception.

Here’s what I’ve been watching:

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A Day Without a Gay

I remember there was a lot of favorable press leading up to the release of a movie titled A Day Without a Mexican. When it was eventually released, I heard nothing but pans from people who had watched it. I never watched it myself, but I know the premise — what would happen if you all the Mexicans in the country disappeared? It’s a premise rife with the potential for profundity or disaster.

Wedding Wars is essentially A Day Without a Gay. The Advocate, in fact, used the phrase as the headline for a sidebar to a cover story about the movie. What would happen if all the gays in the country went on strike? The profound answer won’t be found in the movie’s plot.

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Teh pr0n

I just tried to sit through the pilot episode of Dante’s Cove on DVD. My mistake was waiting for some sort of storyline to emerge. If I go back to watching this DVD anytime this weekend, I’m just going to fast-forward to the man-on-man sex scenes, of which there are many and are quite graphic. Aside from that, this show really stinks. It inspires me to sit my ass down and write my police procedural with gay characters.

Friday Night Lights has turned me into a post-rock listener

I have to say, I don’t usually admit to rooting for a character on scripted television, but that’s what I’m doing for Matt Saracen (played by Zach Gilford) on Friday Night Lights. It’s rare to find characters on television as nuanced as Saracen. He’s a guy pulled in too many directions at once.

On the one hand, he’s thrust into a leadership role for a team on which he existed in the periphery. Now the culture of Texas high school football is drawing him in. At home, he’s taking care of an ailing grandmother while his father is stationed in Iraq. He’s got a job at a fast-food joint, and he’s got a crush on the coach’s daughter. There are even hints that he’s got a bit of the artist in him.

Gilford plays Saracen with refreshing understatement. Saracen isn’t an eloquent orator, so Gilford must rely on body language to convey his character’s uncertainty about the circumstances around him. He’s got the deer-in-the-headlights look down. Saracen’s story is perhaps the most engaging thread in the multiple layers of Friday Night Lights.

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Candidate for Brilliant But Cancelled: Friday Night Lights

I didn’t read the book, and I didn’t watch the movie with Billy Bob Thorton.

I live in Texas, and while I’ll largely ambivalent to the culture of high school football in Texas, I know it’s out there. Despite that pedigree, I’ve become a fan of Friday Night Lights after two episodes. That makes me one of the nearly one million viewers who didn’t ditch after the series premiere.

Two more scripts have been ordered for the show, but given the competition with Dancing with the Stars and, perhaps, Gilmore Girls, I’m not sure critical acclaim and a small fan base are enough.

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