autographedcat: (Default)
From the echoing annals of history, it's the interview meme! Here's how this works. I've been given questions from various people, in sets of five. I will answer them, for your enlightenment and entertainment. You can then comment on these answers, and if you choose, request that I give YOU five questions, for which to use on your own blog.

My first set of questions come from Brooke ([livejournal.com profile] hsifyppah.)

1. What's a work of non-fiction you really enjoyed reading?

Wow, that's a lot of non-fiction, because I read a lot of it.  I read a lot of history and science for fun.  If I had to pick a single book, I might pick Isaac Asimov's Guide to Shakespeare, which is a wonderful, enormous book which endeavours to give Elizabethan contexts to many things that make little sense to modern audiences.  And includes of a lot of the sort of writing that made Asimov's non-fiction so compelling.

Another book that I return to frequently is Robert X. Cringely's Accidental Empires, which is a fascinating anecdotal history of the personal computer industry.

2. The hobgoblin's hat is on your desk! But you left your sensible restraint in your other jacket, so you cannot resist dropping an inanimate object inside just to see what happens. Also you can't resist describing the resulting chaos, neatly skirting the lack of a question mark anywhere in this paragraph.

I reached for the first thing at hand, which turned out to be a smallish paperclip.  For hours, nothing seemed to happen, but over the night a change came, and suddenly the entire house was filled with aluminium armoured praying mantises.  At first we tried to fight them, and then we realised that all they really wanted was to go outside and sit on branches, so they could glisten in the sun.  So we let them outside, and the scampered up the sides of trees and our apartment complex thinks its some sort of subtle art installation.

3. What's your favourite limerick that has an educational purpose that you just wrote?

Imagine, if you will, that this is read by NPR's Carl Kassel.

There are many paths leading to power
But your rise might lead others to glower
One part lemon, one lime
Jack and syrup combine
Win their love with a great whiskey sour.
You can find more drink recipes for world domination in my new book, "First, We Make Manhattans."

4. I just tried to order an autographedcat, and the bartender had no idea what I was talking about. What's the recipe again?

A very reliable drink!  It's sweet, with a tiny dash of bitters, and is highly adaptable to different liquors to suit different palates.  

5. Oh god, it's EVIL ROB, he has a goatee and an eyepatch and everything. How does he TAKE OVER THE WORLD BWAHAHAHAH? I ask out of simple curiosity.

Evil Rob takes over the world by using his vast evil fortune towards controlling all the worlds reality shows.  Once he has completely buy in of the market, he launches Who Wants To Be a Global Despotic Meglomaniac.  Despite his great advantage, he's eliminated in Week 4, and then cancels the rest of the show out of spite.    (All of Evil Rob's plans tend to foil themselves.  He's not a very good villain, mostly because he's not that good at being genuinely evil.

autographedcat: (Default)
So, I solicited people to select some questions for me to answer, and I've (as usual) been procrastinating. But I do intend to answer them all, so here's the first one, courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] tigerbright:

20. Five words/phrases that make me laugh.

These probably are funnier if you know what they're from, but just for giggles, I'm not going to identify them. This is hardly an exhaustive list. It is merely a small sampling of phrases that are typical of the sort which are prone to make me laugh.

1. They say of the Acropolis, where the Parthenon is...

2. Look, it's the four pillars of the male heterosexual psyche. We like: naked women, stockings, lesbians, and Sean Connery best as James Bond. Because that is what being a bloke is.

3. The huge yellow spaceships hung in the air in exactly the same way that bricks don't.

4. If it can be conceived as music, it can be executed as music, and presented to an audience in such a way that they will perceive it as music: "Look at this. Ever seen one of these before? I built this for you. What do you mean, 'What the fuck is it?' It's a goddam ETUDE, asshole.

5. Have fun being Under Construction. After sex and ripe French cheeses, it's one of the best things life has to offer.
autographedcat: (Dayna Larger)
For a cloudy day with the first promise of autumn (via [livejournal.com profile] browngirl and [livejournal.com profile] tigerbright and [livejournal.com profile] bercilakslady)

Leave me a comment with the corresponding number(s) and (within
reason, and very briefly) I'll tell you:

1. Five ways to my heart.
2. Something I feel strongly about.
3. A book I love.
4. Things I want to say to an ex.
5. Five pet peeves.
6. What I ate today.
7. How important I think education is.
8. I'll put my music player on shuffle and write the first ten songs that play.
9. Five people whom I find attractive.
10. My opinion about my body and how comfortable I am with it.
11. What I wore today.
12. My zodiac/horoscope and if I think it fits my personality.
13. Something I always think "what if..." about.
14. Something that I'm proud of.
15. A problem I have had.
16. Five items I lust after.
17. My fears.
18. How I hope my future will be like.
19. Something that I miss.
20. Five words/phrases that make me laugh.
21. Something I'm currently worrying about.
22. Things I like and dislike about myself.
23. A quote I try to live by.
24. Somewhere I'd like to move to or visit.
25. Five weird things that I like.
26. One thing I'm excited for.
27. Responders choice. (i.e. something not already on this list.)
autographedcat: (Default)
It's another questions meme, this one courtesy of <lj user=epi_lj>.  One day, I want to either do or fund a sociology study on these lists of questions, we can determine exactly what age between 13-15 writes them. :)  (If anyone has a list of more mature questions, I'd love to tackle them.  By mature, I may or may not mean "smut" *grin*)
 
autographedcat: (Default)
Taken from both [livejournal.com profile] browngirl and [livejournal.com profile] puppetmaker40:

Post a comment, and I will reply with a reason why I think you're great. In return, you have to post this same meme on your blog and comment for other people.
autographedcat: (Default)
Not many people had anything they wanted to ask me, alas, but I promised answers to those who did, so here they are. Feel free to go back and ask more if you want.

Would you please comment more frequently? It feels like we rarely interact any more.

Yeah, um...*blush* I've been really bad about this recently, and I'm working to get better at it. Mostly, I just went through a period where I was really withdrawn, and wrapped up in my own stuff and not really paying enough attention to everything else in my life. I regret that, but I can't undo it, so all I can do is work to re-establish good habits.

It's not personal. I sometimes get behind and just don't catch up, and sometimes I see something I mean to reply to, mark it for later, and then space on it. I've even done this with far more important correspondence, to the point that I had someone ask me why I wasn't answering any of their email, and I blinked in surprise and said "I haven't?", then went back and found four consecutive messages I'd failed to actually acknowledge.

Long story short: I'll try. You remain dear to me.

How did you start making music?

Any day now, I hope to find out... *grin*

I've always been interested in music, though I never had any musical training in my younger years. If you left me near a piano, though, I'd sit down and play with the keys, trying to work out the puzzle behind them. I never did learn to play it, although I got pretty good at making a sort of tuneless avant-garde jazz that amused myself, though it likely drove anyone else within earshot insane.

When I was 16, I took money from my first real job over the summer and bought an electric guitar. It was a Rickenbacker 230 Hamburg (six-string solidbody electric), and I got it for a criminal price from a guy who needed the money quickly to buy a keyboard for a gig his band had coming up and was selling his least-used guitar for a fraction of its value. But I never really learned to play it, and didn't have anyone to teach me. So when I was moving to Georgia, I sold it to help finance the move, and regretted it ever since. I kept telling myself that I'd get around to buying another guitar and actually learn to play it, but I kept putting it off until 1998, when a near-death experience convinced me that the time to get around to the things you want to do is now. I went out and bought Fenris, a Fender 12 string acoustic (the one I still play), and enrolled in a class to get the basics. Since then, I'm largely self taught, though I've been looking about for someone to help me get past the plateau I'm on and move up to the next level. At some point, I'd like to also get another electric guitar, and indulge the part of me that always wanted to be a rock star.

Are there any sports that you like to watch?

There are some sports I enjoy a great deal. Alpine skiing and figure skating hold my interest completely during the Winter Olympics, for instance. I was at one time an avid baseball enthusiast, but in recent years I've not taken the time to really keep up with it, and since I never watch live TV anymore, the chances I'll stumble across a game and stop to watch it are remote.

Having said all that, if someone I'm with is really into a sport, I will almost always enjoy watching it WITH them, even if it's not something I'd necessarily watch on my own. I have very fond memories of watching World Cup soccer with [livejournal.com profile] elgecko, or cricket with [livejournal.com profile] fleetfootmike. There's something wonderfully communal about sport, and, when you think about it, that's really the whole point of being a fan of something; being part of a larger community of people who share that enthusiasm. I might find myself more into a sport if there was someone nearby in my life who was also enthusiastic.

(I recently did attend a baseball game; I got tickets from my employer in a drawing, and took [livejournal.com profile] kitanzi. It was a great deal of fun, though I probably enjoyed it rather a bit more than she did.)

If anyone still wants to ask something, the link is at the top. (Or you can comment here, but I'm not screening replies on this entry. *grin*)
autographedcat: (Default)
As a reminder, I'm still taking questions in this previous post. Help me generate content! Ask me impertinent things! You know you want to.

But for the moment, here's the latest dance craze: where was I living during each of the last few census periods:

1971
I was nine months old, and quite likely living in a house somewhere in Williamston with my mom, and probably my dad. I don't actually know when they split, as it predates my conscious memory.

1981
We were living in a house outside of Williamston on Wildcat Road (which may at that point in time still officially been "Rural Route 4". There were only a few houses right there, and we were surrounded by fields and forest. Due to the vacant lot next to our house, I had what amounted to an enormous yard. There was an enormous outbuilding behind our house that I turned into my personal domain. It was a great place to be eleven years old.

1991
I was living in Athens, Georgia with [livejournal.com profile] stars_and_magic, in a 2BR duplex on Ramble Hills Way. Ramble Hills was a square circle, on which we were in a back corner, and they'd obviously planned to add a second block, because there was a dirt road that ran from our corner several hundred yards, across, and then back to connect with the opposite corner. On either side of the dirt road was forest, and blackberry brambles ran all along the edge of the woods. We made homemade blackberry cobbler a lot.

2001
I was living in a 2BR townhouse in Norcross, Georgia, with [livejournal.com profile] stars_and_magic, on Weyden Court. We had moved here after our previous apartment building burned down. There was an enormous basement, and a reasonable amount of backyard, including a largish empty field nearby. Toward the end of the year, K. and I split up, and I moved in with [livejournal.com profile] telynor for a few months before getting my own apartment.

2011
Living in an apartment on Windward Place in Alpharetta with [livejournal.com profile] kitanzi. We're having a housefilk on Saturday, so everyone come on over. :)
autographedcat: (Dayna Larger)
Meme vectored from [livejournal.com profile] tigerbright:

Apparently, March is question month. If you'd like to ask me a
question, I'll do my best to answer, either truthfully or not. I
reserve the right to answer in private or a filtered post if I think
that's fitting, and any lies will be bolded. Comments to this post are
screened.

Since replying to comments means unscreening them, I'll reply in a
separate post later today or tomorrow unless you say in your comment that I can
unscreen.

(Meme text reproduced verbatim, but I'll add that I'll answer almost any question truthfully.)

100 Truths

Feb. 8th, 2011 09:04 pm
autographedcat: (Default)
I'm swiping this from Heather M. elsewhere on the net, just because you can never have too many facts about me.

100 Truths about me...

RULES: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 100 Truths about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. Tagged means "I'm interested in knowing what are your 100 truths".

Right this way to astonishing facts that will amaze your friends...well, my friends, at least... )
autographedcat: (Default)
And now, a meme of random questions, which I got from [livejournal.com profile] aiela , who got it from [livejournal.com profile] kshandra , who found it on a dusty scroll in an ancient tomb's gift shop.

If I looked on your bed right now, what would I find?
A pile of crumpled covers, and quite likely a black cat.

Do you go to the bathroom with the door open or closed?
It depends. No one in our house is shy, so I don't think much on it one way or the other.

Are your clothes ironed?
Not typically.

Sleep on your back or stomach?
Ever since I got the CPAP, on my back. However, without the CPAP, I cannot sleep on my back at all, so for years I slept on my side or my stomach.

Are you a cuddler?
Oh yes. I love to cuddle.

Are you single?
Well, there's only one of me. This is probably just as well; can you imagine two of me?

Does someone love you?
Several someones love me. I am blessed beyond words.

What were you doing before this survey?
Well, let's see. First, I was born, and then several years of being an infant followed. Later, I was a child...at some point I went to college. It's all a bit of a jumble at this point.

What will you do after the survey?
More of the same sort of thing, I imagine. I really don't expect this to change my life much.

Marriage or living together?
We decided to do both. Being married and living apart would kinda suck.

What shirt are you wearing now?
A blue Geoffrey Beene dress shirt, with the gold and blue tie that goes well with it.

Do you believe in love?
Oh, you can bet I believe it too.

Do you de-label your beer bottles?
Is this like taking the labels off all the canned vegetables, so you never know what you're having for dinner?

Do you talk about your feelings or hide them?
Mostly I talk about them. People likely wish I'd hide them more often.

Is there something you regret and wish you could take back?
There are many things I regret. But most of the things I regret taught me valuable things, or else moved me to be in a place for later brilliant things to happen. So I'm a bit hesitant to suggest I'd like to take them back.

In retrospect, I don't regret the things I've done nearly as much as the things I didn't do.

First thing you do when you wake up?
Curse loudly.

What are you excited for?
I'm just really happy to see you.

Do you like the beach?
Without it, we'd all be underwater, and I can't breathe underwater. what's not to like?

Who's the last person you texted?
[livejournal.com profile] museinred

Do you hate someone?
No. Life's too short.

Do you tend to rip the paper off water bottles?
I don't think the clerks at the store would appreciate that. Even if bottled water *is* a scam.

When you shut off your alarm clock, do you tend to fall back asleep?
My alarm clock is [livejournal.com profile] kitanzi , so I don't ever shut her off. I do sometimes fall asleep again, though.

If you were given the chance to take care of a monkey for a weekend, would you?
My monkey is the only one who has nothing to hide, other than myself.

What is the current advertisement on the side of the screen?
There isn't an advertisement on the side of my screen.

What are you looking forward to in the next few months?
February, followed by March and April. Then we should probably have a May before going on to June.

When will you turn 50?
June 25, 2020.

Are you ticklish?
At times, in places.

Where do you wish you were right now?
Resting in the arms of a pretty girl.

What song are you currently listening to?
"Beautiful Ones" by Suede

Have you ever passed out from drinking?
Yes, but very rarely. I don't tend to drive to excess.  (ETA:  that should have read "drink to excess."  Hrm.  Maybe I should *start*.)

Do you believe in cheating?
No, I believe in changing the rules of the game.

What time did you wake up this morning?
Around 6:00am

Do you have any cousins?
I have several. I have four first-cousins on my mother's side, and I know I have one or more on my father's. I see none of them regularly, which is too bad.

What makes you smile?
A '52 Vincent and a red-headed girl.

Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?
My doctor's office.

Are you happy?
Yes, and I know it. *claps his hands*

Are you hungry?
I'm halfway through my sandwich, so less and less by the moment.

What was your dream last night?
I'm afraid that is not suitable for a public blog entry.

Do you like to shop?
No particularly. I like buying things, but that's not the same thing.

What side of the heart do you draw first?
Whichever side is closest to me. You get the same amount of blood.

Can you dive without plugging your nose?
I actually misread this as "Can you drive without plugging your nose?", which made me wonder where on Earth this survey's author lives. I mean, I thought the smog in Atlanta was bad...

What color is your razor?
What colour is my what? I have no idea what you are talking about. (The only razor I use on a regular basis is Occam's. You'll have to ask him what colour it is.)

What is your blood-type?
I think it's A+. I'd have to find my little card to be sure.

Who would you want to be tied to for 24 hours?
Goodness. Um..."I'm afraid that is not suitable for a public blog entry."

What is a rumor someone has spread about you?
Why? What have you heard?

How do you feel about carrots?
I'm not sure I feel anything about them. I think they're tasty, and I enjoy eating them, but it's not like we have a relationship...

How many chairs are at the dining room table?
Three at the moment.

Which is the best Spice Girl?
I could be happy the rest of my life with a cinnamon girl.

Do you know what time it is?
Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care?
autographedcat: (Default)
Day 17 - Favorite mini series

While lots of mini-series have been made in recent years, they always seem to be an artifact of the past to me. Back in the 1970s and early 1980s, a number of Big Event™ mini-series captured the public imagination. Roots, The Winds of War, Shogun, The Thorn Birds, The Blue and the Grey, the list was endless and unrelenting. Without watching a single frame of these, you knew two things for certain: everyone was going to be talking about them, and sooner or later Richard Chamberlain was likely to show up.

Of course, these epic "TV Events" aren't the only mini-series. Cable has used the format to great effect to tell stories too large do in a single movie. HBO recently spent over $200 million on The Pacific, a sprawling World War II historical drama, and before that produced the award-winning Band of Brothers to tell the story of that war's European theatre. Back in 2000, the Sci-Fi channel did what David Lynch wasn't allowed to do 15 years previously: take six hours to bring Frank Herbert's Dune to the screen.

But this is a post about favourites, and if I had to choose a favourite mini-series of all time, I'm going to go with the 1994 adaptation of Stephen King's The Stand. The Stand is my favourite of King's novels, and it really needed the broad canvas of a mini-series to do it justice. The cast is stellar, including Gary Sinese, one of my favourite actors, along with Molly Ringwald, Ruby Dee, Matt Frewer, Ray Walston, and other notables. Up to this point, most adaptations of King's work were somewhat regrettable, with a couple of odd exceptions, but The Stand was a truly stunning piece of work, and still holds up as a quality production 15 years later. You can get it on DVD. I recommend it.

Honourable mention: Neverwhere, produced for the BBC from a script by Neil Gaiman. It took forever for this to come out on DVD, but it was worth the wait. A great deal of Gaiman's vision didn't make it to the screen (and can be found restored in the subsequent novel), but the potential can be seen, and it still feels like a Gaiman story brought to life. Again, recommended.

More questions to come. Tune in tomorrow for another exciting opinion about television from me... )
autographedcat: (Default)
Day 16 - Your guilty pleasure show

I pondered this one all weekend, and to be honest, I don't have one.  More to the point, I can't really think of a show that I consider a "guilty pleasure".

On the other hand, I've never been a big fan of the concept of "guilty pleasures" anyway.  I'm enough of a hedonist that I tend not to feel guilty about my pleasures, whatever they might be, and I'm enough of an iconoclast that I don't tend to get too put out if I have personal tastes that don't dovetail neatly with the rest of society.

I really don't have a good answer for this one, guys. I'm not ashamed of any of the media I consume, and I think that you can't really call it a *guilty* pleasure without that.

I'll try and do better with the next one.

More questions to come. Tune in tomorrow for another exciting opinion about television from me... )
autographedcat: (Default)
Day 15 - Favorite female character

Wow. This one is hard. ("That's what SHE said..." "Shut up.")

Even if I limit this to favourite female character in a show I'm currently watching, it's a hard choice. Alyson Hannigan's sweetly sexy Lily on How I Met Your Mother, Kaley Cuoco's down-to-earth Penny on The Big Bang Theory. Jayma Mays's neurotic Emma on Glee, Tiffani Thiessen's sensible Elizabeth on White Collar...There's a lot to choose from.

In the end, though, I'm going to pick Stana Katic's Detective Kate Beckett on ABC's Castle. Katic's Beckett is smart, tough, and drop-dead gorgeous. The chemistry between her and Nathan Fillion's Richard Castle is incredible, and she's capable of saying more with a look than anyone on television. I've seen Beckett and Castle have entire conversations without speaking a word, which is really awesome.

I considered who I might pick if I opened this up to female characters from any show ever, but I don't think I could begin to narrow it down to a top 10, let alone a single favourite. So I'll stick with my self-imposed limitation of choosing from things I'm currently watching. Because it's my journal, and I'm allowed to do that. :)

More questions to come. Tune in tomorrow for another exciting opinion about television from me... )
autographedcat: (Default)
Day 14 - Favorite male character

If I'd been keeping up with this and written t his back when I first started this "one month" meme *mumble* months ago, I'd have had an entirely different answer to this question, but I've since acquired a new obsession favourite TV show, namely USA Network's White Collar

Which brings me to Neal Caffrey.

The short premise of the show is "He's a charming con-man with a heart of gold. He's the FBI agent who put him in prison. They fight crime!" Specifically, they fight the kind of high-stakes, big money crimes that you'd expect the "white collar' division of the FBI to tackle: art heists, stock swindles, counterfeiting, etc. The sorts of crimes that Neal specialised in, and quite often ends up going undercover to help solve, because he moves easily in that world.

I like Neal Caffrey because he has style. He dresses well, he's charming, extremely intelligent and well-spoken, has a wicked sense of humour, a great sense of fun and adventure, and a taste for the finer things in life. I remarked recently to [livejournal.com profile] kitanzi that I often "aspired to a level of sophistication that I do not always possess.", and this is a character that embodies all of those traits that I admire and covet. (Well, except for the "criminal" part of it. But, hey, nobody's perfect.)

I will even admit that he directly inspired me to take a critical look at my own personal sartorial style and make some needed changes. So this show has done me a great deal of personal psychic good.

If you're not watching White Collar, do give it a try. Many of the things I love about the show (particularly the relationship between Neal and FBI Agent Peter Burke, Burke's relationship with his wife Elizabeth, the amazingly crisp dialogue, the fantastic undercover heist plots, and the narrative sub-plot that runs throughout the entire show) lie outside the scope of this entry. But it's hands-down my favourite show on television, and USA just announced that it is being renewed for a 3rd season. I recommend it highly to anyone.

More questions to come. Tune in tomorrow for another exciting opinion about television from me... )
autographedcat: (Default)
Day 13 - Favourite childhood show

It's hard to pick just one show, as I was one of those kids in the TV age who grew up on the stuff. Also, where precisely would the dividing line be between childhood and not-childhood shows.

But thinking of it, there's a show I remember quite fondly. It debuted when I was 10, and I watched it on and off for a number of years: PBS's kid's science programme 3-2-1 Contact



3-2-1 Contact was a magazine style program, with several (often related) segments dealing with science and nature. It also contained a running serial detective series with three kids, who would get caught up in various little mysteries, and solve them using some science trick or another:





Not sure how well they hold up after 30 years, though it was a bit of fun to rewatch these clips. Sadly, it doesn't appear that this show has ever been released on DVD. C'mon, CTW, let's see some love for the classics! :)





More questions to come. Tune in tomorrow for another exciting opinion about television from me... )
autographedcat: (Default)
Day 12 - An episode you’ve watched more than 5 times

There's a lot of episodes I've watched more than five times. I've always been one to revisit books, movies, and TV series that I really enjoy.

But the single episode of a TV series I've likely watched more times than any other, hands down, is the episode "Inferno' from Coupling. This is largely because [livejournal.com profile] kitanzi and I tend to try and hook anyone who will sit still long enough on the show, and partly because it contains one of the greatest comedy rants of all time:



In all seriousness, if you've never seen Coupling, you should give it a try. Smart, snappy, and funny: everything you could ever ask from a situation comedy.

More questions to come. Tune in tomorrow for another exciting opinion about television from me... )
autographedcat: (Default)
Day 11 - A show that disappointed you

I hadn't forgotten this, but this question had me stumped. The truth is that I couldn't think of a single show that I'd call disappointing, at least in the sense of "I was really looking forward to this and it turned out to be meh." Certainly there are shows that went in directions that disappointed me: House leaps to mind as a show that I loved, and which eventually chased me away with the direction it was going. (I've been told it got better, but I've not bothered trying to find out.)

I think the closest I can come up with for a show that disappointed me on the offset was Ricky Gervais's The Office. When it first started airing over here, it was being lauded in commercials as the best new comedy in ages and a brilliant satire. So I decided to check it out, and found it dreadfully, sometimes painfully, unfunny. I've liked Gervais in other things, so it's not just his sense of humour not connecting with me, but I really couldn't get into it. After three different episodes completely failing to amuse me, I gave it up. (I have no opinion on the US version with Steve Carrell, etc, as I've never watched it either.)

I promise more regular updates as we delve into somewhat easier questions. :)

More questions to come. Tune in tomorrow for another exciting opinion about television from me... )
autographedcat: (Default)
Day 10 - A show you thought you wouldn't like but ended up loving

It was at the Dead Dog dinner at OVFF that we found ourselves sharing a table with our good friend [livejournal.com profile] markbernstein, and the animated conversion turned its way to television, as it does. We listed the various things we were watching, and Mark began to enthusiastically tell us about his favourite show, So You Think You Can Dance

I have to admit, I was sceptical. I'm not a big fan of "reality Tv' as a genre; while I admit some are less tawdry than others, they all seem to have the same sort of backbiting commentary and bitter factionalism, which honestly I tend not to find entertaining over long stretches of time. But Mark insisted that SYTYCD had a different tone and that we should give it a try. That week was going to be the first episode with the Top 20 from that season (season 6), and thus would be a good point to jump on. So when we got home, we thought "well, why not" and punched it up on the Tivo, determined to at least give it a fair viewing before writing it off.

I wasn't surprised to find it mildly entertaining. Good dance is always fun to watch, and the mix of styles (both in the variety of performers and the variety of choreography) kept it from developing any sense of sameness, and if nothing else, it was (to steal [livejournal.com profile] kitanzi's phrase) "pretty people doing pretty things', which isn't a bad way to spend a couple of hours when nothing else is on.

I was surprised to see how quickly we both got invested in the show and the contestants. From the first episode, we were already noting our favourites, and as the weeks passed, we got more and more connected to these people. We were actually disappointed when one of "our" dancers went home, and before we knew it, it went from "something to fill the slow season" to "must-see TV". I even ditched a standing engagement so we could watch the season finale live and actually vote, something we didn't do up to that point (usually we were watching the episodes 24 hours after they aired.) The first week after the finale, we had pangs of withdrawal, because our new favourite show wasn't on, and we eagerly looked forward to the start of Season 7 (just recently completed).

I've given a lot of thought to why this show has managed to capture my heart, when no other show like it has been able. I'm not that big a dance fan1; if it were merely the form of art, I'd expect myself to like American Idol, and I don't. There's nothing particularly novel about the format, which has been used on everything from Vatican City Idol to The Belgian Congo's Got Talent, none of which lured me in.

I think the big difference for me is how overwhelmingly positive the whole show is. None of the judges are snarky for the sake of being snarky; they genuinely critique the performances2, giving praise when its merited and criticism when it's needed, but there's no viciousness in their remarks. More to the point, the competitors seem to genuinely like each other. You can see them turning into a company by the middle of the season. They support each other, cheer each other on, and get emotional when one of them has to go. The whole thing is just uplifting in tone, and the world needs more of that.

I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Mark, without whom I would likely never have taken a moment to consider watching this show. I'm already looking forward to Season 8!

1Well, I wasn't then, at least. It's grown rather a bit on me.
2I've done competition theatre. I know the difference.

More questions to come. Tune in tomorrow for another exciting opinion about television from me... )
autographedcat: (Default)
A while back, I started on an ambitious thirty-day meme about television. I had every intention to follow it through to the bitter end, but then Jenna got sick, and I got distracted, and never got myself tracted again. But I didn't forget about it, and I figure I'll pick it up where I left off. If you missed the beginning of this, there's links to the previous entries behind the cut-tag at the end of the post.

Day 09 - Best scene ever

This is insanely difficult to pin down. There are scenes that are great because they're funny, and scenes that are great because they're poignant or profound.

But I if I have to pick just one, I'm going to go with the scene between Mal and Simon at the end of the Firefly pilot, "Serenity" (not to be confused with the Fireflymovie of the same title):

SIMON You need me to look at that?
MAL Just a graze.
SIMON (a beat, then) So where do you plan on dumping us?
MAL There's places you might be safe. You want the truth, though, you're probably safer on the move. (turns to him) And we never stop moving.
SIMON I'm confused. No wait -- I think maybe you're confused.
MAL It may have become apparent to you, the ship could use a medic. You ain't weak. I don't know how bright you are, top three percent, but you ain't weak and that's not nothing. You live by my rule, keep your sister from doing anything crazy, you could maybe find a place here. 'Til you find a better.
SIMON I'm trying to put this as delicately as I can... How do I know you won't kill me in my sleep?
MAL You don't know me, son. So let me explain this to you once: If I ever kill you, you'll be awake, you'll be facing me, and you'll be armed.
SIMON (smiles) Are you always this sentimental?
MAL I had a good day.
SIMON You had the law on you, criminals and savages... half the people on the ship have been shot or wounded including yourself, and you're harbouring known fugitives.
MAL (looks out at the black sky) We're still flying.
SIMON That's not much.
MAL (almost to himself) It's enough.

More questions to come. Tune in tomorrow for another exciting opinion about television from me... )
autographedcat: (Default)
From [livejournal.com profile] aiela , via [livejournal.com profile] madlori , the 30-Day TV Meme.

Day 08 - A show everyone should watch

Well, obviously, any of the shows I watch i think others should, because I think they're awesome. But to pick one is hard.

I'm going to go with Mythbusters, which is hardly in dire need of a ratings boost, but has many qualities that I really like. It's a lot of fun, and it shows practical science (and the scientific method) as something that's enormously cool. Even when they go in with expectations of results, they let the data speak for itself. And when their methods are flawed and the fans call them on it, they revisit their work in many cases.

Most science documentaries operate under the assumption that if you're watching it, you already think science is cool. Mythbusters is populist science taken the extreme, and it's something I think everyone can get something out of,

More questions to come. Tune in tomorrow for another exciting opinion about television from me... )

Profile

autographedcat: (Default)
autographedcat

March 2017

S M T W T F S
   123 4
567891011
1213 1415161718
19202122232425
262728293031 

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated May. 22nd, 2017 05:28 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios