The Shape of Things to Come

The LOST Re-Watch Begins

I can’t believe it’s almost been a year since LOST ended. Six long years of watching with commercial breaks finally came to its grand conclusion. In honor of the show that got me from September 22nd, 2004… my sophomore year of college… to May 23rd, 2010… almost a month after I got married… I am starting my official LOST re-watch. **Don’t tell me what I can’t do!**

I haven’t watched a full episode since the week after the show ended last year. I watched all the special features when they were released of course, but in terms of just sitting down and re-watching… I haven’t. I finally feel like I can honestly look back on the show now with a new audience ear and truly see if the same themes and arcs that moved me so much so many years ago, will still translate. **Everything happens for a reason**

Now, don’t get me wrong, I have seen almost every episode MULTIPLE times… when I get someone else “addicted” to the show, I tend to watch it with them until they’ve either caught up or tell me to go away. The first 4 seasons I’ve had to have seen 10 times each. I can quote lines, point out things in the background and a fun party trick I have is to connect ANY actor back to LOST… try me in the comment section. It’s my dumb human trick, but it’s all mine. **One of these days I’m going to find a loophole my friend**

If you don’t know, I’m the biggest LOST fan I know. I started watching the show (believe it or not) at the ice rink while my sister had hockey practice. They have a few TVs set up in the lobby area and my then boyfriend (and now husband) said “Oh, Hey! There’s that show I was trying to tell you about. J.J. Abrams is doing this plane crash show where they land on an island… it looks almost like a movie… supposed to be really good.” We sat there and watched it off and on while peaking through the window to watch my sister and I was hooked. Nick would probably like me to point out that yes, he is the one who liked the show first and is responsible for the monster he’s created. **I’m sorry this happened to you**

Because of classes and everything, I didn’t truly become insanely crazy obsessed (as my friends will quickly tell you) until they came out on DVD. That’s when I started to watch and re-watch those episodes so many times that noticing things like “Ethan Rom… Other Man” became second nature. I was a Lostie. I helped write a few things for Lostpedia and Doc Artz… nothing big, just a few things here and there and truly became immersed. I was “that LOST girl” and I loved it. **4 8 15 16 23 42**

We began to have full on weekly viewing parties at our home, complete with costumes and LOST themes including “Keemy Sashimi” sushi nights and “Kate’s Taco Night” among others. We would play games and it was just a really fun time. I can honestly say that once LOST ended, we didn’t truly see some of our friends as much as we would like to, because there wasn’t the weekly LOST gathering at our place. ūüė¶ **You all everybody**

I have collected many things over the years about LOST. Action figures, books, set designs, pieces of costumes. My license plate is the numbers and on my wedding day I had my “something old, something new, something DHARMA and something blue” (my bridesmaids and I had little temporary dharma station tattoo… mine was the pearl… duh). I’m a freak. **If I don’t play ping-pong every 108 minutes the whole island’s gonna explode**

So, I’m VERY excited that we (yes, people… Nick and Frank are participating) will be starting our first official LOST re-watch. **If we can’t live together, then we’re going to die alone**

We will watch one episode every day from May 23rd, 2011 until September 22nd, 2011. There are 122 days and 121 episodes. I might not post every day about the episode we watch, but at least every few days I’ll put my comments about the new take I’m sure to get “this time around.” Some days we may watch more than one episode… (for instance we’ll most likely watch BOTH parts of the 2 hour-pilot the first night)… and some days we just might not have the time. However, like “Julie & Julia” we have our goal date and will be watching the finale on September 22nd, 2011 here or in the flash-sideways. Please feel free to watch along with us and if you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask! **We have to go back**

Of course this blog will still be updated for whatever else I’m watching, reading and doing. ¬†**Dude**

The War for Late Night…

It might be that if I don’t go to sleep before my husband I have trouble falling asleep. ¬†It might be that since I’m getting back into the reading zone, I can’t put a book down once I get into a reading groove. ¬†Whatever it is… this is the second time I’ve stayed up past 2am reading a book.

I love getting the behind the scenes scoop on anything Hollywood. ¬†It’s probably why I like Kathy Griffin so much. ¬†I admit, we never sat down at 11:35pm every night and tuned into only ONE late night talk show. ¬†I was a bopper. ¬†I flipped and changed as the guests came on that I liked. ¬†I admit I preferred Letterman’s monologue to Leno’s in the coveted time slot, but was never a huge Craig Fergeson fan. ¬†I knew I liked Jimmy Kimmel (he’s kind of the bad boy of them all) and Conan. ¬†Jimmy Fallon was growing on me from his time on SNL (a show which I do religiously watch live or DVR).

“The War for Late Night: When Leno Went Early and Television Went Crazy” by New York Times media reporter Bill Carter followed the entire conflict between Leno and Conan over “The Tonight Show.” ¬†This is essentially a follow up on the 1994 book “The Late Shift,” which was turned into an HBO movie starring John Michael Higgins as Letterman and my boy Daniel Roebuck as Leno and their war over taking over the show that Johnny Carson had made an institution.

Carter did his research and interviewed almost everyone that was involved. ¬†Some executives were all too eager to get their side of the story out there since the public had it tilted toward Conan being a martyr for “The Tonight Show.” ¬†He got information from Conan, Leno, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Letterman, and Fallon. ¬†All the “major” late-night players (I guess Chelsea Handler doesn’t count?). ¬†Carter did basically a background check on all the late night giants. ¬†I had no idea that Letterman almost nearly ruined Jon Stewarts career to keep him from going after him and pushing him out of “The Late Show.” ¬†Since Letterman owned the production company that owned “The Daily Show” though, Stewart would be far away in basic cable land and wouldn’t be able to hurt Letterman… and thus the show was his. ¬†SO INTERESTING!

Carter also got the viewpoints of the major NBC execs involved in the back dealings and planning for the “Let’s move Leno to 10pm… wait that’s not working… let’s move Leno back to 11:35 for half an hour, and then push Conan to 12:05 and Jimmy Fallon to 1:05am” decision. ¬†Jeff Gaspin, Jeff Zucker and more come across as execs who thought they had a solution to keeping their 2 big stars on their network telling jokes, but were too proud to back down when the it turned sour.

The book follows the “Team CoCo” movement and how Conan came up with the “People of the Earth” letter. ¬†How Conan finally decided on TBS for his new show and the implications that followed.

I never read “The Late Shift,” but from the movie… Letterman came out looking like he was backstabbed and went to CBS to stick it to them. ¬†Leno came out looking like a pawn for his manager (played by Kathy Bates) at times and other times VERY deceiving and manipulative.

I think that a very similar outcome came from “The War for Late Night…”. ¬†You can totally understand how hurt and manipulated Conan was when (after the press found out) he was informed *not asked* that his show would be bumped to a later time slot to accomodate Jay Leno. ¬†You can see that all Leno wanted was to be on TV… he viewed it as a JOB that he loved to do. ¬†Leno didn’t view it as a “right or privaledge” but as a job. ¬†Conan viewed “The Tonight Show” as something he had earned… I think that was the major philosohpical difference in the two. ¬†Conan didn’t want to hurt the institution that was “The Tonight Show” by moving it back to starting the next day… and Leno didn’t understand why Conan didn’t want to have the show on TV, even if it meant at a different time. ¬†For Leno, it was business… and he had the contract for Pay AND Play (meaning NBC had to put him on TV for 2 years in some way, shape or form… unheard of)! ¬†For Conan, it was emotional… and his contract had NO stipulation like Letterman and Leno had that said that his show HAD to start at 11:35.

I admit… after following the buzz in the press… Leno was blacklisted at our house. ¬†NO ONE could watch him. ¬†I would NOT give him ratings for pushing out Conan. ¬†And typically, at 11pm, we do tune to Conan on TBS (last night with Will Ferrell? ¬†Come on… that was hysterical). ¬† I received a TON of grief for turning to Leno once to see Louis C.K. for 3 minutes a few months ago. ¬†I’m not saying I’m going to watch Leno from now on… I still think that Letterman, Conan, Kimmel and Stewart are the better comedians… but now I guess I won’t feel *as* guilty for tuning in for 3 minutes to watch a celeb interview I’m interested in.

If you like to know all the backstage dealings, I highly recommend the book. ¬†I learned a lot about television programming, recipes for late night shows (what works what doesn’t work), how much pull the “talent” actually has, television contracts and dealing with the media. ¬†Carter writes with an ease of story telling sprinkled with the details needed to understand what was happening. ¬†Remember: ¬†The guy with the best contract ALWAYS wins. ¬† Such a fun read.

"The War for Late Night: When Leno Went Early and Television Crazy" - Bill Carter

Parenthood – The Show You Probably Aren’t Watching

This little show I believe to be VERY underrated. ¬†The first season takes a while to pick up steam. ¬†Originally Lauren Graham (best known from Gilmore Girls) was not supposed to play a lead. ¬†Originally it was Maura Tierney (from ER). ¬†However, Tierney underwent breast cancer treatment and was unable to proceed with the show, so (after Helen Hunt turned it down) Lauren was brought in, reshot and the show was made into a midseason replacement instead of a leading season starter. ¬†I’ve heard comparisons to “Brothers and Sisters”. ¬†I haven’t seen that show, so I can’t concur, but I’ve been told be several people that if you like that, you’ll like “Parenthood”.

“Parenthood” is loosely based on the movie with the same name starring Steve Martin. ¬†It’s based on the stories and troubles that actually occured with producers Ron Howard, Lowell Ganz, and Babaloo Mandel. ¬†It’s a fun movie, clearly dated in 1989, but fun.

I call “Parenthood” a DRAMEDY. ¬†It makes you think, lately has made me tear up and every episode makes me chuckle to myself (if not out loud) at something. ¬†It’s no “30 Rock,” ¬†if you’re looking for that laugh-out-loud for 40 minute show, this is not it. ¬†And on the flip side, it’s no “LOST,” where you have to pay attention to every minute detail to be able to follow along. ¬†It’s simply a show about embracing all different kinds of families.

Craig T. Neslon (Coach) and Bonnie Bedelia (of the Diehard franchise) portray Camille and Zeek Braverman. ¬†They are the foundation the other families weave in and out of. ¬†With marital and parental problems of their own, their four children are “grown up” and they struggle with their marital life and unique parental life.

Adam (Peter Krause, “Six Feet Under”), the oldest Braverman sibling, has had to relinquish his expectations about what constitutes a “normal” family, as he, his quietly forceful wife Kristina (Monica Potter, “Trust Me”) and independent-minded teenage daughter Haddie (Sarah Ramos, “American Dreams”), struggle to cope with their eccentric son Max (Max Burkholder, “Brother and Sisters”), who has Asperger’s Syndrome. ¬†This family has had A LOT of juicy plots in season 2, including Haddie growing into a young woman with boyfriend Alex (Michael B. Jordan from “Friday Night Lights), Adam’s work issues, Kristina’s coping with being a full-time caretaker for Max and Max learning of his Asperger’s and his growth and troubles therin.

I believe the next sibling in the family is Sarah (Lauren Graham). ¬†She is a financially strapped single mother trying to raise two teenaged kids; the bright but insanely rebellious Amber (Mae Whitman from “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”), and sensitive Drew (Miles Heizer from “ER”). ¬†They live with Zeek and Camille and navigate through Amber’s rebellions, Sarah’s ex-husband resurfacing, drugs, alcohol, job searches and so much more. ¬†You really pull for Sarah, because she tries so hard, but it always just seems to blow up in her face.

After Adam and Sarah is career minded Julia Braverman-Graham (Erika Christensen from “Swimfan”). ¬†She is a high powered attourney trying to balance her career and family life with stay-at-home dad Joel (Sam Jaeger from “Eli Stone”) and ornery young daughter Sydney (Savannah Paige from “Date Night”). Joel’s developing resentment of being a stay-at-home dad, Julia’s longing for a second child and their precocious daughter makes their story lines interesting.

The youngest Braverman sibling is Crosby (Dax Shepard of “PUNK’D” fame). ¬†He is the complete opposite of all the other siblings. ¬†While Sarah is what I would call a struggling slacker… at least she tries. ¬†Crosby just floats through life and women until he finds that he has a young son named Jabar (Tyree Brown) that he never knew about with dancer Jasmine (Joy Bryant from Antwone Fisher”). ¬†This interracial couple come together over their son, but Crosby’s wondering eye and years of bad habits of irresponsibility are at the core of this mini-family’s issues.

The family as a whole always pulls together when things go south. ¬†They’re there for each other, push each other, and guide each other through their struggles. ¬†Every actor shines in their roles. ¬†I can’t pinpoint a single actor that shouldn’t be on the show or doesn’t seem 100% authentic. ¬†You really pull for these characters to succeed.

Like I said earlier, the first season takes a while to pick up because you have to meet, learn and understand who these people are, but now that we’re mid-way through season 2, it has gotten intense, hilarious and one of my new favorite shows. ¬†It’s well written story lines and character development go overlooked in a world of pure dramas like “Grey’s Anatomy” and pure comedies like “The Office.” ¬†If you go into the show with the label of DRAMEDY and not pure drama and not pure comedy, you’ll be able to appreciate it.

When NBC first started advertising, it looked like a dark scripted comedy… and then when I watched it, I was extremely let down. ¬†Now that I know it’s just a drama with some great comedic moments, I get it. ¬†I hope you will too, because stuff has hit the fan the past few episodes that is just great television.

Also, the sets are really wonderful. ¬†When you see Julia’s home… you know someone who is a perfectionist and career minded lives there: clean lines, lots of grey, very modern. ¬†You see Zeek and Camille’s house and it just looks like a grandparent’s home: spacious, lots of plants from the outside. ¬†You go to Adam’s house and it seems the most “traditional”, because his family is, but as you’ll find out, his “perfect little family” is not as perfect as he would dream. ¬†and Crosby lives on a tiny houseboat… need I say more?

Everything just fits and it’s now a show I have to DVR, OnDemand, ¬†or watch live. ¬†Take a chance on it if you’re looking for a show that will make you think of your own family.

PARENTHOOD -- Pictured: (l-r) top row; Peter Krause as Adam Braverman, Sarah Ramos as Haddie Braverman, Dax Shepard as Crosby Braverman, Lauren Graham as Sarah Braverman, Miles Heizer as Drew Holt, Sam Jaeger as Joel Graham, bottom row; Monica Potter as Kristina Braverman, Max Burkholder as Max Braverman, Craig T. Nelson as Zeek Braverman, Bonnie Bedelia as Camille Braverman, Mae Whitman as Amber Holt, Erika Christensen as Julia Braverman-Graham, Savannah Rae as Sydney Graham -- NBC Photo: Art Streiber.

“Parenthood” : ¬† 10pm, Tuesdays on NBC or OnDemand on Comcast for this season’s past episodes

Season 1 is available on Netflix to really catchup.