Thursday, January 31, 2008

'I'm Sick!! Of Lying!!'
Hercules Gives The Last
--10626 total posts

Over 10,000 posts? This is what happens inside the Internet. People chat, rant and argue about TV shows. Do you ever check out any of this stuff? Probably not. It takes forever to load a page with 10,000 posts on it.

But that's LOST for you. Tonight's the big Season 4 premiere, so that's the buzzing you'll be hearing all day. I turned on the TV last night to see what nothing was on and I noticed they were showing the Season 3 finale again so I thought I'd settle in and rewatch. I must say, it was one of the great moments in the history of television when it aired last year, but only if you'd been following it. What was interesting last night was how they made it into "LOST, Pop-Up Video". Is this what television has come to? So you're sitting there watching a show, and the scroll bar at the bottom of the screen is rolling out the backstory of every character that comes on set. I found it annoying, since I knew the info, but the oblique Star Wars references were insightful.

I blame the writer's strike. And, yes, I do believe you are standing in the way of the Free Market if you strike when someone out there is willing to do your job for cheaper. The show must not go on! Pathetic. I feel sorry for the thousands of not very highly paid, below-the-line celebrity type-folks who depend on the film business to make a living (sandwich-makers, wardrobe people, etc.) We can thank the striking writers for one thing, however: did you see the Golden Globe Awards? Me neither, but evidently they hire writers for these things, and since there were none available they had to cancel the awards program, which I find utterly hilarious. The actors union issued a directive for its members not to show up for any party, too, in solidarity. Unfortunately, (or fortunately) the time slot was still allocated on the TV stations, so the broadcasters filled it by just having two people standing at an old, cast-off game show podium reading the list of nominees and winners. I caught a few minutes of it, and it was the best awards show ever aired. Quick and to-the-point. Like a popped balloon.

But the Academy Awards? No, that show will air. It's The Oscars, after all. The most dangerous place in Southern California is to stand between Hollywood and its self-congratulation, and no union will go there. Exceptions have been made. Expect dumb jokes, a moment of silence, and a standing ovation in the Oscar monologue -all for the writers, who would otherwise not get any attention. (It may be why they're striking in the first place.) In 2009 I expect they will award themselves for having bravely done nothing the previous year, unless they decide to acknowledge noteworthy independents -who will never work in this town again for having crossed the picket line.

But you know how it goes... Yes, there will be some breakout talent that makes a non-union film that grosses millions this summer. Every actor will want to work on their next film, and once the stars are attached the financing kicks in, all past transgressions are forgotten and all will be welcome in the Directors Guild or the Writers Guild. Ten years from now, another strike.

All the same, they do know how to tell a story on LOST, and evidently (before the strike) they had finished production on three or so of the 16 episodes that were expected to begin airing ("without interruption" they advertised) a few weeks ago. I guess they finished the season premiere first, but who knows -that show jumps around a lot. All the series are uncertain right now. They showed a new episode of House the other night and it was a Christmas episode, which made no sense at all. As well, I think 24 is off the table for the year, and it's reality shows as far as the calendar can see. So if you were ever going to give up on television, now is a good time to do it. Tonight at 8:00 PST, on ABC.

LOST is better on DVD anyway.