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Completist destiny: Shows I’ve watched beginning to end

By on Jul 3, 2014 in Inner Monologues | 0 comments

Completist Destiny, as defined by Wikipedia, is the belief that a television addict such as myself is destined—nay, divinely ordained—to watch a series completely and completely chronologically. Fine, I admit: that might just be a dogma of my own creation. But I stick to it. (This is where you, in solidarity, shout, “Leave no episode behind!”) Of course, I have to compromise sometimes, like when networks boneheadedly air episodes out of order, or when I’m watching TV with someone who’s not as obsessive-compulsive devoted to the intended chronology as I am. Anyway, I was thinking today about the series I’ve watched in their entireties—i.e. series for which I’ve seen every episode made available. Here they all are, from the most prolific to the shortest-lived… and even the ones I’m not so proud I watched! The X-Files (205 episodes)...

Completion for completion’s sake totally sucks

By on Jun 16, 2013 in Inner Monologues, Rants | 0 comments

I have attachment issues — not with people, luckily, but with stories. I’m ashamed when I don’t make it to the last page or the final frame. But, in some cases, I stop right before the end and feel like I can’t proceed. Alex and I saw Cirque du Soleil’s Totem recently. No, I’m not citing it as an example — we loved every minute of it. Buoyed by its exuberance — and perhaps wanting to debunk what could only be described as theatrical and athletic magic — we started the Bravo series Cirque du Soleil: Fire Within, a documentary about the creation of Cirque’s Varekai. Surprisingly, the closer to opening night of Varekai the show’s chronology progressed, the less engaging the show became. Is it because we already know — as viewers in 2002 perhaps did not — that the production of Varekai was a rousing success? Is it because we were seeing the...

House of Cards: Is it television?

By on Feb 15, 2013 in Inner Monologues | 0 comments

In the latest bold step in television, Netflix is getting in on the original-content game with the debut of its series House of Cards — and the press has made much ballyhoo over the development. (Yes, I just wanted to use the word ballyhoo.) Even more interestingly, Netflix released all 13 episodes at once, to the delight of fans and to the dismay of those fans’ social lives and sleep schedules. Chiming in to the ballyhoo myself, I wonder: does the show fit into the definition of television? Isn’t series television, by its very nature, supposed to come out piecemeal? Furthermore, if Netflix uploads and makes readily available an entire television season in bulk, what’s the qualitative difference between that and a movie? Okay, sure, the saga is split into episodes. And yes, each episodes might have a narrative structure unto itself. (I haven’t seen the show yet, so I have no idea how...

An Open Letter to Ryan Murphy

By on Jul 11, 2012 in Inner Monologues | 3 comments

Dear Ryan Murphy, First off, I love your work.  I loved Nip/Tuck, I was fascinated by the pilot for Pretty/Handsome, and I remain haunted by American Horror Story.  But my partner and I are of two minds when it comes to The Glee Project.  You see, we do like it—it’s an addictive show with formidable talent and fun challenges—but the concept confuses us.  Are you looking for talented youngsters who can sing, dance, and act?  Or are you looking for inspiration? When The Glee Project premiered last summer, our impression was that you and the other producers of Glee would be searching amongst relative unknowns for fresh talent—people who can sing, dance, and act.  Once it premiered, however, it became clear that you were looking for inspirational stories amongst the contestants, hoping to write the contestant’s personal histories into the show.  (You’d say things like,...

“Gossip Girl” Is Not Terrible—There, I’ve Said It!

By on Nov 3, 2011 in Inner Monologues | 0 comments

Hello, my name is Dan Clarendon, and I’m an addict. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m afraid to say I’ve had a bit of a setback. I thought my life was better off without Gossip Girl. Only a year and a half ago, I publicly condemned it, deeming it “flat” and “uninteresting.” I criticized the fact that none of the characters mature and that none of the break-ups and make-ups matter because none of them last. Well, I’ve been tempted again, and I have to admit, I lost control. But it wasn’t my fault, I swear—I have enablers! My boyfriend is a junkie, too. And Netflix is my supplier. How can I help myself when every episode from the past four seasons is available to stream instantly? I started using Gossip Girl again to indulge my boyfriend because I know he loves it and I didn’t hate it. So I figured I’d get caught up so that we...

Don’t Cry for “Glee,” Argentina

By on Jul 11, 2011 in Inner Monologues | 0 comments

Glee creator Ryan Murphy’s announcement that the McKinley kids would be graduating and leaving the show at the end of this upcoming season (stated with a “isn’t-this-totes-obvs?” tone) caused a stir surprising to even Murphy himself. Gleeks are practically worked up into a lather of separation anxiety. And it makes sense: no one is excited about the prospect of Glee devoid of Rachel’s self-aggrandizing, Finn’s lumbering dance moves, Mercedes’s vocal runs, and Brittany’s non sequiturs. But his rationale is valid. Unless the show abandoned all pretense at realism (and it’s already halfway there with the rock-concert-worthy production values that accompany each performance), it’d be hard to draw out the chronology enough to allow the characters to stay at McKinley for any more seasons. But Gleeks need not worry. The original...