Too many choices

Seems to be THE week for new series to start, and last year's successes to resume. I was busy trying to figure which were worthwhile, which were worthless. I know, in our younger days we were proud of NOT watching TV, now I've the time and like to be entertained. I do draw the line at 'reality' TV though.

Highlight on Monday was a new double Doctor Who for the fall. OK - not a kickoff, it was an end to this current series. But it still was good. I'm not sure when it resumes - maybe January.

Tuesday House resumed - with the old grump on his own. All three of his pet doctors from last season were gone - I'm not sure if that was plot driven or studio politics.  This season he'll hire more eager ones and it will be deja vu all over again. Hugh Laurie is great, but not sure how long he can he can keep it up. I'll stick with him for now. Competition in the same slot will be from Reaper - I like it so far. A bit like Dead Like Me - young man discovers his parents sold his soul to the Devil, now that he's 21 he has to work for his new boss. His job is to return escaped souls back to Hell, using a bright red Dirt Devil hand held vacuum to suck them up. He then delivers them to one of Hell's portals - in the first show it's a typical crowded and inefficient DMV office. Not a great concept, but interesting for now, with some good cast members.

Wednesday was a night of more double bookings - Private Practice at 9 - a spin off from Grey's Anatomy. Was entertaining, with the same preoccupation with sex and people trying to grow up as we saw in Grey's. All while they work in a "wellness" clinic - whatever the heck that is. Also at 9 was Bionic Woman - it was pretty good. Same concept as before, with the addition of a bad version running around too, sort of a beta version that got released by mistake. Then at 10 was a new one called Life, about a cop with a Zen twist. Interesting, so far. Also on then was Dirty Sexy Money - about a lawyer that has to babysit the various spoiled and/or weird members of a very rich family. Donald Sutherland plays the patriarch of the clan. A nice collection of rotten spoiled, yet oddly charming characters. We all love to watch the rich be less than perfect. Also, on Wednesday, Kelsey Grammer started (last week) in Back to You. It might be OK, did get a couple of big guffaws out of me.    

Thursday was the new season of Grey's Anatomy - still a soap, with some sex in a corner, involving winsome Merideth of course. More new interns, some of the old issues still chugging along. And then another new one on after it, Big Shots. "The boys", CEO's, with problems just like us poor folk, just with more foi gras and champagne. How cute.

And in the midst of them all - annoying ads for the Ontario Election. Annoying because they all seem to be the same negative - don't vote for my opponent because he did/didn't do whatever, and he's a right bastard. Vote for my party because here's all the things we will do, for free, we promise, cross our hearts. And, don't forget the referendum on what new process we should use to pick one of these bright eyed optimists next time. OK - maybe I'm getting a little cynical.

Juicy Danger meets Burning Man

I caught this at midnight on TVO earlier this week. A great documentary about Christine Taylor (Juicy) and Tom Comet (Danger) and their trip in 1997 to the Black Rock desert of Nevada. They took their underground circus act to the neo-pagan Burning Man festival - and loved it.
Same documentary is on Bravo, Saturday morning (Sept 11) at 5am.
For some film clips of Burning man from 2000, check out CBC's site - just do a search for "Burning Man".
Browse the rest of the site too - some interesting stuff, but I wa surprised to see it from what we often think as "boring conservative CBC".

Fernwood Tonight

IMG_0119aYes, it was a great show, but I'm really referring to the little temporary fern garden I've planted. I say temporary because I had carefully planned it to be in a corner shaded by an old 30' high Russian Olive. Then I decided that since the tree had huge bare spots, and dead bark peeling off all over, right to the bare wood, that it should go. Now of course the corner is only shady before 10:30 or after 2:30 Gets prime heat of the day, so all the ferns will shrivel, unless I put a big beach umbrella out there. They will be especially dry with my rather casual watering schedule.
Rather than just get free ferns from the woods, I went to the local garden centre and bought 6 different kinds - luckily that was all they had. This site lists over 30 varieties. I have a Royal fern, Tassel fern, Deer fern, Autumn fern, Soft Needle fern, and Japanese painted fern. All suffering in the sun.
But I do have another shaded, and even damper corner, where they can flourish. Along with the old stump and logs I'll move there - to rot and grow fungus. I'm not keen enough to actually go out and buy enough fungi to do a whole woodlot, but I figure I can find some in the woods and transplant them. Did I mention this other shaded corner is already full of day-lilies?? First job will be to move those somewhere. Want some? Send me a SASE.
And for those still looking for sit-com info, browse away.
Update: I've noticed a lot of the "hits" on my blog are coming here looking for the TV show - so I'll add a picture.

April 3/05 - I still get a number of hits that are really searching for the TV show, sorry, but that's what happens with search engines. Just a few innocent words and it's amazing who wanders here. I suppose that's a sneaky way to increase traffic. I could mention that I saw a naked bunny in a Mcintosh in amongst the ferns, but I might just get people really searching for here.

Reality is ugly

Or maybe just the whole concept of reality TV is ugly, or demeaning, or insulting. Or maybe the greatest entertainment idea for the masses since the Roman gladiators. We like to see the underdog win, the cocky smart-ass lose, and think maybe that could be us. If only we could get out of our lounger.
The most worrisome one I've seen is something called The Swan, from Fox. The concept is to select two women who think they are not attractive, who have low self-esteem because of that, and believe if only they could be transformed they would have a second chance at life. They put them through extensive plastic surgery (face lifts, boobs, butt, liposuction) as well as a three month exercise and weight loss program and a series of counselling sessions with a therapist. Who will somehow built their self esteem in the midst of all this beauty emphasis. Every show they feature two women, and pick the one voted most improved. The winner gets a chance at future rejection and depression by going on to a beauty pageant to see if she really has changed her life for the better or is a loser after all. Don't even get me started on beauty pageants. The "loser" gets to keep all the work (obviously), gather up what dignity she has left, and get back to the other reality.
It's worth noting that the experts they have on the show to help these girls are all good looking and quite photogenic.
I watched the first show in amazement just to see what was involved and thought the winner actually looked a little skanky - but maybe skanky is good.
Perhaps all these poor ugly ducklings need are the therapy sessions, so that they can realize that beauty is relative. Are they ugly, or just plain, or just average. Yes, they don't meet the standards of the beauty queen ideal promoted by the entertainment and fashion industry but so what? What (or who) makes a swan?