Friday, April 28, 2006

Rock/Suck April 2006, or, how many Saved by the Bell references can I work into one blog entry.

Ok, quick reviews. Three things that rock, three things that suck this month because...why not? And yes, I'm embarrassed about using the term rock in this way, but...whatever.

Starting with the positive, in no particular order.

Three things that rock!

My new SBC/Yahoo DSL connection. No, we didn't wait to move. My wife got a laptop for work with wifi and suddenly was motivated to switch to a broadband connection with wifi hookup for home. go figure. That, and the endless "website cannot be displayed" messages all the time for everything were getting really old. The internet is no longer set up for dialup. Time to upgrade. We are, strangely enough, too far away from the main line for anything but the express connection, which is the slowest they have. My parents in Lake California, however, are right on the main line. Strange. It still feels like it flied, compared to the dial-up.

The Dixie Chicks' single "Not Ready to Make Nice." I should preface any discussion I have about music with a couple of caveats. I like some edgy stuff. I like mostly alternative, folk, and punk. I try to pretend to be a music snob. That said....I downloaded Kelly Clarkson and Bo Bice, y'all, so anything I have to say on the subject is immediately suspect. But I like this single for its bravery, and for the fact that they were pressured to release a generic country song to appease their fans after Natalie Maine's comments about president Bush. This song is basically a big fuck you to everyone who complained, and for that, I love them forever. It also gets stuck in your head, but in a good way. Bonus points for the video, with its images of Victorian repression, harkening back to a time when outspoken women were often locked up in sanitariums and treated as if they had mental disorders. There was even a diagnosis for it ... hysterical female syndrome. Have a problem with your wife, call her hysterical and have her committed. Even though I am male, I'm still glad we don't live in that world, and I love The Dixie Chicks and this song for standing up for the right of anyone to have an opinion, even when it's unpopular. NOt that their opinion of our dipshit in chief is really that unpopular anymore.

The Wonder Falls Complete Viewer Collection DVD set. OK, recent college grad, 24, with a useless philosophy degree from Brown University returns home to Niagara falls and starts working in a Gift shop. Underachievers of the world unite! After a particularly bad day, one of the little tsotchkes in the shop (it's a wax lion, incidentally) starts talking to her. And it's only the first. This short-lived TV series takes the legend of Joan of Arc puts it in a modern context, with a sublime mix of comedy and pathos. Throw in a supportive (overly suportive) family, a trailer park menagerie, a lesbian sister, a psychiatrist, an abandoned honeymooner, a russian mail-order bride, a sassy best friend, a "atheistic theologian" brother, a boss who's still in high school, Fatsquatch, an obsessive zookeper, an illegal canadian immigrant housekeepr, and the first woman who went over Niagara Falls in a barrell, put in a blender, and drink down the acerbic tone. It's now my second favorite TV series of all time. (If you can't guess my first, you probably haven't read much of this blog). One of my favorite tidbuts about this series... In Canada it airs on the religious cable network, in the US it airs on the Gay tv network. I'm pretty sure you can't say that about any other tv series. This set contain all 13 produced episodes, and brings the story arc to a resolution.

Three Things that Suck!

Being in the emergency room in Red Bluff, CA at 2:30 in the morning. Let me start off by sayig that everything is fine and someone just had a really major gas attack which made us think it was a disease-related liver problem (not me). But the people you share the space with during the three hour wait to be seen are...shall we say...a bit like the Wal Mart crowd at 1o:30 in the morning. Heavy on the grunting and excess redneck family members, light on the personal hygiene. Making this worse, we didn't have the remote control for the television and it was tuned to TBS, which at this time shows marathons of Mama's Family (which was a least entertaining) and the, horror of horrors Saved by the Bell. Even more horrific was the fact that it was that wierd, The College Years, sequel. I still have not recovered.

The new comedy Teachers should rock, but unfortunately sucks. I want to like the show. The characters are vaguely appealing. I've liked Justin Bartha ever since he was in National treasure, and his characetr seems a little, well....personally familiar. The show is well cast. It's just...not that funny. Kali Rocha, who plays Principal Wiggins, was much funnier as a vengeance Demon on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Most of the jokes are just really flat. The show has very little personality and I'm not feeling the chemistry between Justin Bartha and Sarah Alexander (I think that's her name. I'm sure xnickerx will correct me if I'm wrong.) But the thing that is most annoying is that the school does not act like a school. When they actually talk about educational issues, they get it wrong, more often than thought. It's like they need a technical advisor, which they probably have, but whoever they do have should be fired. I really want to like ths show, and will probably watch next week's season finale, but i have a feeling it's doomed. Which is too bad.

Cartoon network has started showing Saved by the Bell in their adult swim block. The hell? That's been the domain of edgy anime and off-color adult cartoons. Why is screech there? PLus, hello...CARTOON network? I guess its a part of their plan to turn themselves into Nickolodeon, but even I can predict how this is going to go. You're cartoon network. Do I need to say more.

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