30 March 2014

What's Your Number? (aka Hours Spent Watching TV)

If you go to this website and list down all the TV shows you've watched, it will automatically compute the number of hours you've spent watching TV.

Photo from Tiii.Me

On top of my head, I immediately listed down Friends, Frasier, Friday Night Lights, The Sopranos, The Office US and UK, and then ended up with 21 days 11 hours 30 minutes for these six shows alone.

And then I stopped listing down the shows, knowing all too well my number is going to be higher than 21 days. I probably don't need the computer to tell me I've been wasting time watching TV for at least half my lifetime. So, that's 20+ years and counting...

But then, as someone pointed out on this site, Lennon once said ---

Photo credit

The quote puts this whole "watching television" in a better perspective! My life has meaning and purpose! Haha.

And you? What's your number?

The Good Wife's Josh Charles Does Dan Rydell

Oh, this is gold!

As a backgrounder, read this first, or Google up "Sports Night" or Dan Rydell.

This makes watching tomorrow's episode of The Good Wife a bit easier, I guess. Coz I'm learning to detach. Will Gardner died, but Josh Charles lives on.

28 March 2014

RIP, Television Without Pity

I was a frequent visitor of Television Without Pity (TWoP) back in 2004 to 2008. I have signed up for an account and joined in the discussion of TV episodes a few times, before I settled to lurker status and just visited the forum to read.

I was too afraid to post anything, really. I feared the admins and mods (like a few others, c'mon admit it!). They were almost draconian in their rules enforcement; their system was legendary. However, this worked for the site so well, I guess, because back then, if you would like to find sensible and quality TV discussion, TWoP was where it's at.

TWoP: Where I learned to love TV even more. 
TWoP-ers had a lot of hardcore television fans who were not just fanatics. The site attracted geeky snarks who spent their time breaking down every storyline, character, backstory, behind the scenes, and what-have-you's of an episode or a series. To someone who watches TV casually, TWoP-ers' viewing habits would be some kind of annoyance. Some of the posters there even behave as though they are better than the showrunners and the writers of TV. (Sometimes, they do have the best ideas, though!)

It was in this forum where I learned to appreciate the process of watching a show on a different level.  The people in this community fed my TV addiction so much, I wholeheartedly agree that It's Hard To Imagine The Internet Without Television Without Pity.

Well, the website is closing down.

When NBCU bought it sometime in 2007, there were big changes that made TWoP a slightly different place. I still go there once in a while to feel the pulse of TV fans about certain shows or episodes. (In fact, the last time I was there was just the other week. I wanted to find out what other viewers thought of The 100 and if they liked it like I did.) But since it became a "corporate site" and no longer a "fan site", it wasn't the same anymore.

Still, it's hard to process that it will soon shut down.

After May 31st, the archives of TWoP will no longer be available to the public, which is a pity (pity!) because that site was a treasure trove of resources for anyone who loves television.

Goodbye, TWoP.

I lost countless hours sifting through your threads and learning a whole lot more about a TV show than I ever could anywhere else. Those were great times!

You will be missed.

25 March 2014

Casting Couch: Reunite the men of SPORTS NIGHT

Now that Josh Charles is free to work on another TV show (because, if you didn't know --- he friggin' died on The Good Wife last night!), could Parenthood at least have him visit an old friend?

Josh Charles sat next to Peter Krause on Sports Night.
They played anchors Casey McCall (Krause) and Dan Rydell (Charles).
Krause is now on Parenthood.

And perhaps bring along this guy, as he may also be close to death on Scandal, anyway. (I mean, I would guess. That show also loves its surprises!)

Joshua Malina played Jeremy, an executive producer on Sports Night.
He worked with Dan and Casey.
Malina is a State's Attorney on Scandal now.

If this guy ^ doesn't die on Scandal yet, then could Josh Charles suit up and play Will Gardner on his show? Can he team up or go against Malina's David Rosen?

So, Parenthood & Scandal, I'm posing this as a challenge --- who is going to make this reunion happen?

 I need something to help me get over Josh Charles' departure on The Good Wife!!!

24 March 2014


Things are not making sense right now.

Well, okay they are. They make good sense. Especially, since you could rationalize that what has happened this week (Season 5 Episode 15) is all in a day's work on television.

But right now, I'm in still in shock.

And I'm angry and bitter.

It's taking so much from me to try and not tweet Josh Charles, whom I've loved since Sports Night,  to tell him --- HOW DARE HE DO THIS TO FANS OF THE SHOW! (It was a career move, you guys!)

 Even after reading this:
From The Good Wife's Facebook Page
...and getting why the show needed to do what they've done in a way that guts my heart, I'm taking it all very personal.

Maybe in a few weeks, I'll calm down and see that, tragedy and shock aside, this was an incredible feat for network TV. Maybe in a few weeks, I would be grateful for how superior and daring the writers were... to come up with this storyline in secret, and executing it with the kind of perfection only attributed to high-profile cable shows. Maybe in a few weeks, I'll appreciate the beauty of this blindside. Maybe in a few weeks, I will respect the actor's decision.

But today, I'm grieving and I'm finding it hard to process and move on...

F*ck, f*ck, f*ck you for doing this!

18 March 2014

5 Reasons Why I'm Excited for GOTHAM

You know that pre-Batman series that's in the works on Fox next season? Gotham? I've been meaning to write something about this.  Since the series was announced as "in development" I already grew excited for it. What makes me so keen on this series is because it has so much potential to become the next big thing.

Gotham's main story is on James Gordon as a young detective, way before becoming the one Commissioner who would work alongside a certain caped-crusader. The series will explore his beginnings, as well as the beginning of his friendship with Batman.

Ben McKenzie (Southland, The OC) was tapped to play young Commissioner Gordon and today, photos of him in action have been released online.


More images on this site

He's Reason #1 for why I'm practically rooting for this show.

I liked Ben McKenzie in Southland. I wouldn't have any idea who could play the Commissioner better than him, but I think picking him was a good choice. He seems to be a committed actor.

Reason #2 for why I think Gotham has so much potential to be a hit is this guy: Donal Logue, who is going to be Gordon's mentor.  People earlier thought he would be playing the Commissioner.

I've loved Logue's work on Terriers, and I find him so underrated. To be involved in a series that's going to have millions tuning in means he's finally going to get the recognition he deserves.

Reason #3 is Bruno Heller, the show's creator.

Heller is the man behind The Mentalist, which --- up until last season at least ---  is one of the most clever shows on network TV.  Maybe that's why The Mentalist hasn't been doing so well lately. It's because Heller's been busy developing Gotham.

Reason #4 is Jada Pinket Smith.

She's playing the role of a gangster boss in this show. Can you already imagine her? She's going to be so badass! And I cannot wait to see this!

Reason # 5 is David Mazouz, the young kid who will be playing Bruce Wayne.

Mazouz last show on TV was Touch, where he had no speaking lines (or at least when I was watching it, I didn't hear him say anything at all), as his character was odd.

I'm sure that role was challenging for him, but he's going to play Batman now, so this must be more exciting.

Gotham has so much going for it and its producers say this show should be treated differently as the franchise, even as classic Batman villains are expected to be in the story.

The series is set to premiere during the upcoming 2014 - 2015 Season, which starts this September.

14 March 2014

[VERONICA MARS the Movie] Her Final Words

(Spoiler alert!)

A long time ago, we used to be friends...and then I got closure!

What Veronica said at the end of the movie? Struck a chord with me, I love it!

"Dad always said this town could wreck a person. It's what happens when you play a rigged game. I convinced myself winning meant getting out. But in what world do you get to leave the ring and declare victory? This is where I belong. In the fight. It's who I am. I've rolled around in the mud for so long... wash me clean and I don't recognize myself. So, how about I just accept the mud? And the tendency I have to find myself rolling in it? My name is Veronica, and I'm an addict."

Only a few of notes:

- Dick has not changed nor aged in 10 years. I think he's going to be that way forever. Disturbing.
- I have missed Wallace and Mac! Unexpectedly missed them so!
- I loved the cameos, including that "creepy guy" who danced in front of Veronica.
- Samsung product placement!
- Nitpick: I didn't particularly like Weevil falling back, not after he told Veronica what he's been up to. But I guess the quote above also applies to him.

Overall, one happy shipper here! That just had to happen. Of course!

Thank you, Veronica Mars! LoVE! LoVE! LoVE!

Stirred by PORTLANDIA's Theme Song

I get a kick out of listening to this theme song each time I watch an episode of Portlandia.

I don't know why I love it so much. But it stirs up something in me. Whenever I hear it, I don't know if I wanna cry, or slow dance, or fall asleep. I can't describe if the song makes me happy or sad, but it makes me feel something.


I had a similar thing with House's theme song (Teardrop from Massive Attack).

There are opening themes to TV shows where I hit the fast forward button because they're not interesting enough and I just feel that it delays my viewing process. Most recently, I've skipped True Detective's coz I didn't like the song, no matter how interesting the visuals are.

But for Portlandia (and House), I always let it play out. Sometimes I even go back to listen to it a second time before I watch the episode.

Is there a TV theme song that does the same for you?

Portlandia is a comedy sketch show on IFC, currently on its 4th season.

11 March 2014

TRUE DETECTIVE Season 1 Finale Thoughts

I hesitate when I get asked if True Detective is a good show to watch.

I'm finding it hard to explain the appeal of the series and often have great difficulty telling someone to, "Go and watch, sure! It's so gooooood!" ... because "good" is subjective.

Good can be an episode of Castle, or Person of Interest, or The Good Wife, or Breaking Bad, or Scandal, or Parenthood, or Episodes, or Portlandia. See the degrees of differences?

It would be hard for me to lump True Detective in a category of greatness.

Because it's just... different.

Setting aside the acting and the cinematography of the show (coz these two elements on True Detective are some of its strongest), I would not be able to qualify its pluses without sounding like I'm over-selling the story.

The essence of every show is in the story --- how it started, how it's played out, and most importantly, how it ended.  For many viewers, the ending is crucial. It must top everything else. It should have the show go out with one big hurrah. Only, True Detective's ending, at least for the first season, is not what you'd expect from a show that started building up the plot with each episode. In fact, too many people were not happy about its conclusion. (Read: Is True Detective Overrated?; The Disappointing Finale of True Detective; True Detective Finale: This is it?)

Most people have mistaken this series for a "whodunit"; for getting suckered into figuring out the clues and secrets, and then figuring out the bad guy(s). I was one of those people. I followed theory after theory thrown on the internet, in the hopes of trying to discover clues to plot twists, in as much as I couldn't really understand where most of these theories lead up to. This habit of reading up on a show's many "secrets" is something I've developed since Lost, by the way. (Damn you, Lostpedia!!!)  But while watching the last episode of True Detective playing out the other day, I finally got the sense that this was all so.....freaking simple.

To anyone planning on binging the first season of the show, bear this in mind:

The real story is not in the plot.

The real story is in the two lead characters.

To understand their development as characters is to get the essence of the show.  To see their relationship --- with each other, with other people and with themselves --- go from one point to the next, is to experience the show's deepness.

Forget all the secrets. Forget hunting down meanings and clues.  Look at Rust and Marty, and watch their transformation.

That's where True Detective is different from all the other good shows out there.

08 March 2014

[GRIMM] Aswang, TikTik & Filipinos on AmericanTV

I have more reasons to love Grimm for featuring a very Filipino-centric episode this week (Season 3 Episode 14 - "Mommy Dearest") when the show explored the legend of a mythical creature known locally as the Aswang. More specifically,  the episode featured the TikTik, an evil creature that preys on pregnant women and the fetus.

How this episode came about was discussed in this article:

The story of the TikTik was told to me when I was 6 years old, and about to become a big sister.

I do remember that there were some nights when I would watch out for any "ticking" sound coming from our ceiling, and then made sure Mama's belly was covered with a pillow.

An attack never happened, of course. Nor do I know of any other family ever becoming victims of a Tiktik or Aswang because the story is an urban legend; an old wives' tale. But living in the province, on a big lot surrounded by many trees (incidentally, home to many aswang as legends go)...at that age, I was so sold on the idea that a Tiktik could be lurking. And that if it ever came for my mom and my baby sibling? This was exactly how I imagined it would go down:

Grimm got this one right!!! (Well, okay, minus the track suit haha!)

But I'm not going to have any nightmares, nor relive fears from my childhood after watching this episode. In fact, I found myself enjoying while watching it because....it's soooo Filipino!

The episode featured a lot of Filipino actors, like Tess Paras and Michael Golamco, who spoke Tagalog.

By the way --- Tess, as I've come to learn, has been on several other American TV shows like The Good Wife and White Collar.

There were references to many things Pinoy. Manila was even in one scene. (How did they do that??? File video? Should I tweet and ask the Grimm Writers about that?)

So, thank you Grimm for doing this!!! It felt like a shout-out, or a tribute to your Filipino fans. It might be overzealous to claim "Pinoy pride" over this...it's about an Aswang FFS. And I'd have to be objective and say this wasn't one of your best episodes, yeah? But it is one that's already close to my heart. 
"I couldn't be prouder of the work we've done on this episode. It's one of the most fulfilling experiences I've had in my entire life. I don't mean to oversell it, but everything just came together with this episode."
- Reggie Lee

01 March 2014

[Scandal] Papa Pope is a scary motherfucker

Whenever this man starts delivering his lines on Scandal, I forget to breathe for air until he is done.

When Eli Pope goes off (and he's had several scenes like this, yeah?), I start getting confused about whether I should gasp for air, cower down in shame, call my parents and apologize for something, or just sit there and watch him until I'm so stunned, I turn blue in the face.

I know I'm not alone. You're probably also getting your fill from watching scenes with him unfold. Scandal is by no means great TV for me. But it's scenes like this that makes it so addicting to watch. The writers really know how to hook us, no?

From this week's episode... (Okay, the following is really much better heard than read, but since I can't splice the video into a smaller clip, this transcript should do.)

"You have no idea what happened. You have no idea what is currently happening. You're skipping around in a field full of bombs, and mistaking them for daisies. This...dear...sweet..child is what happened: The married man you can't seem to stay away from had me abducted and locked me up in chains, and spoke to me about the way you taste, while he allowed that terrorist to snake her way into my marriage bed to clear US airspace."
"What happened was.... the man you screw framed me by freeing the woman who gave birth to you as a bargaining chip. What happened was the man who defiled you also defiled an organization I gave my SOUL to build. THAT is what happened."
"What is currently happening is that President Fitzgerald Thomas Grant the Third has made an enemy, the WORST kind of enemy because I know ALL his secrets. I know where EVERY body is buried."

"And the greatest weapon I can use against him calls me DAD."
"Uncommon valor was a common virtue. The thing about that quote, Olivia is that it was from the good old days. It no longer applies today. Everyone is afraid. Everyone SHOULD be afraid. The President should be VERY afraid. And if I were you, Olivia, I would be terrified. I would pick up whatever chips you had left and I would RUN. As far away as possible from that burning building known as the White House. Run, Olivia, run. Because mark my words, Fitgerald Grant is not going to make the end of his term. Watch me."

Scurrry, no?