Monday, March 31, 2014

Three Movie/Television Pitches That Will Never Make It On The Air

Every now and again I start brainstorming.  Sometimes it's because I see something on television and I think "that's stupid, why didn't they do this instead?"  Sometimes it's because I get tired of the same old thing every time and crave something that twists what we normally expect.  Sometimes I'm just bored and my mind travels down very unique pathways.

For instance, here's five pitches for movies or television shows that I don't think would ever get picked up.

Elevator Pitch 1)  Kim Kardashian and Kevin James have a Freaky Friday incident.

As someone I told this to pointed out, it might become a bit too tacky and "wacky" instead of being a good movie.

You know, sort of like how I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry was supposed to be a great film about how it's okay to be gay.  At least, it was before Adam Sandler attached himself to it and ruined it.

Yeah, you heard me you...probably nice guy.  BUT STILL.  RAR, INTERNET RAGE!
Where was I?  Oh, right.

Now, I wouldn't actually cast Kim Kardashian and Kevin James, but just listen for a moment.

Anyway, think of what a clever script writer could do with the traditional Freaky Friday routine only with a man and a woman instead.  She's a rich Beverly Hills celebrity surrounded by the paparazzi with just a week away from being married.  He has a family, is a blue collar worker, and maybe he just lost his job due to the rich girl's father firing him.

Suddenly, the two switch (get two really good actors who can perform as two people, NOT ROB SCHNEIDER) and have to try to fill in for each other.  The prissy diva who never really had to lift a finger in her life suddenly finds herself in any number of situations.  Trying to work from home as a stay at home father, taking care of kids, or having to job hunt with only a limited knowledge of what the body she's in knows or can do.

He, on the other hand, suddenly finds himself in the spotlight, with easy access to the people he might think ruined his family's life.  However, he comes to learn that the guy he worked for wasn't such a bad guy.  Maybe he already took a massive pay cut himself to try to save some employees.  Maybe he's losing business due to an overseas investor and had to close an entire office building because the company is slowly starting to circle the drain.  Maybe he had no idea firings were happening because he's so caught up in some charities he's trying to get started and has also lost sight of how important his family is.

We have two people taking a look into each other's lives without necessarily having to reduce it down to "har har a guy wants to sleep with his fiancee but doesn't know it's another guy in there LOOK SEXUAL AWKWARDNESS because gay jokes are funny," but can make it actually emotional when the guy with a wealth of healthy family experience starts trying to fix a tabloid-covered broken family, and the woman gets to discover that there's more to life than just marrying a celebrity, and discovers the family life she missed out on and how she can devote her resources to helping others.

Maybe it doesn't immediately have a happy ending.  The office still gets closed, but the daughter is able to work with the husband to come up with a business pitch for something new that, while not revolutionizing the world, will provide some steady jobs to people who need them and give the people that work there meaning to their lives.

Elevator Pitch 2)  Sleeping Beauty when everybody has to get used to the new world they're in.

Everybody remembers the plot of Sleeping Beauty, right?  Two fairy godmothers bless a baby with wonderful things, then Severus Snape's mother shows up and curses the baby simply because she wasn't invited to the party, meaning the third godmother has to do her best to reverse it, so instead of dying, the girl (and, if you go by the animated movie, everybody else in the castle) will sleep for a hundred years.

"Really, Severus?  You could've been a magic doctor, but instead you're teaching?  I raised you better."

So, uh, yeah.  Eventually Prince Charming comes along, hacks through the "impossible to get through" thorn bush growing around the castle, kisses the girl, and on the basis of being able to cut up plants really well, she marries him.

...but a hundred years have still gone by.

Let me introduce you to a little something called "culture shock."  Here's a few things going on in 1914 here in the United States:

Charlie Chaplin first appeared in a movie called The Little Tramp.
The first traffic light was introduced.
Women didn't have the right to vote yet.
Black people had no real equal rights yet.
World War I had just started, but we weren't involved yet.

So imagine what would happen if a whole castle full of people somewhere in Europe (heck, make it England so nobody needs subtitles) was in stasis for a hundred years before everybody woke up to realize that the village outside their castle was now a city, and oh yeah, everybody who wasn't in the castle at the time that they knew was dead.

We have so many television shows trying new things with fairy tales and people displaced by time or people who don't know what to do with themselves after some dramatic why not try to mix it up a bit and focus on some people who need to try to assimilate into a society that has changed so drastically it's unrecognizable.

Elevator Pitch 3)  Do something with this guy:

Don't recognize him?  He was a wizard in the Leaky Cauldron in one of the Harry Potter movies (Prisoner of Azkaban, I think) and he's the most awesome character who existed in those films.  Why?  Let's break it down.

First off, he's reading A Brief History Of Time by STEVEN HAWKING.  A WIZARD is studying up on the makings of the universe.  Now, either he's having a really great laugh at a guy in a wheelchair who got everything completely wrong, or he's putting together how magic and the rules of the universe actually intersect.

Secondly, he's stirring his drink.

Sorry, that's not impressive?  Well, he's doing it WITHOUT A WAND, something that, as I recall, is a pretty huge deal in the Harry Potter universe.  Everybody else seems to need to use a wand (do any of Harry's teachers ever not use one?) and if I recall correctly, only ridiculously powerful ones could do it without a wand with even a tiny bit of control.  This guy's doing delicate work with one finger while not even paying attention.

He's the wizard equivalent of the old monk who does nothing but rake rocks and sweep floors in the monastery, but even the leaders show him reverence because he's already figured out the meaning of everything, they're all just trying to catch up.

Send him on some magical, globe trotting adventures.  We already know there's other schools out there, and I'm pretty sure nobody did anything to make sure the dementors weren't going to sneak into the Muggle-verse and ruin everything after Voldemort was dealt with...why not crank out a television series about a complete and total background character based on some of the biggest movies of all time?  I mean, heck, if a guy zipping through space and time in a police box can get a huge following, I'm pretty sure this guy can.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Two Online Clips That Make My Head Hurt

First off, we have the commercial for Carl's Jr. featuring the classic X-Men movie character Mystique.

I love the fact that in order to eat this burger, you have to "man up."  Because women can't handle the burger.  Truly, only bros who you know lift can handle such extreme (sorry, xtreme) bacon.

You wouldn't think that bacon needs a naked blue mutant to add to it, but, there you go.

Why not have the commercial feature some normal people (men and women) buying the burgers, leaving a Carls Jr., then having... man, I don't know, who's a sucky X-Man villain?

Yeah, he'll do.

Have Forearm (get it?  Four arms?) show up wrecking some stuff.  The normal people look at him.  They look at their burgers.  They take bites from their burgers, chew meaningfully, and then square their shoulders to face off a guy who might have four elbows but could probably still be brought down with a Nancy Kerrigan-esque crowbar to the knee.

You don't even have to use the phrase "man up."  How about "Deal with it."  Or quote some Joan of Arc "I am not afraid...I was born to do this."  Or heck, quote Steven Pressfield: "F@#( self-doubt."

I guarantee you your ad campaign will get some press with that last one.

Secondly, we have this mess:, to be fair, that opening isn't that far off from how the old cartoon started out with discussions about crime being out of control.  The only thing that's missing is that old woman with the shopping cart from the cartoon who pulls out a machine gun.

However, then it starts to get weird.  Shredder and April's father tried to make mutant heroes to keep the streets safe?  Because that's better than, I don't know, doing things to make the cops more effective?  Who would control the mutants?  What would you do it they (inevitably) turned on their creator?  Why isn't Megan Fox wearing a yellow jumpsuit?

And just how stupid does this look?, I have the dreadful feeling I'm going to have to watch this just to warn you all to NOT watch it and not let your kids watch it.

The Room (not that one)

The Room might possibly be the most infamous terrible movie of all time.  The story, acting, and even the sets seem completely absurd to the point you're surprised that even the guy who painted the walls of the set didn't turn around at one point and say "look, guys, this is *&@# stupid."

This, however, is not about that.

This is about a remarkably atmospheric little puzzle game by the same name that, when you get down to it, might be one of the better video games I'll play this year.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Poker Night At The Inventory/Poker Night 2

I never really got into the whole "Texas hold-em" craze that swept the nation some years ago.  I watched Celebrity Poker Showdown on Bravo a couple of times just to see things like the cast of The West Wing duke it out for charity, and I played in one match with a friend of mine and people he knew (which gave me a new rule, never play cards when three of the players are in the same family).

But I haven't really watched any tournaments online, and I don't have any poker-style electronic games, outside of the occasional hand during some down time in Red Dead Redemption.

But then Telltale Games had to go and ruin the whole thing with their Poker Night At The Inventory games, a pair of games I regularly pop open and play when I just want to pit my minds against some notable characters from games, movies, comics, web series, and cartoons.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Ask Erik: Episode Fifty-Seven

For this week's Ask Erik, we're going a bit more...medial.  Media-esque?  Technolog- Televisiona- no... man, I don't know where we're going.

To Erik:  What do you think about Psych ending tonight?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fantasy Baseball League

So here's how exhausted I was yesterday.  At four this morning my eyes snapped open and I went "Oh, man, I completely forgot to write a blog post!"

So, yeah, I'm pretty embarrassed about it.

So, once again, this week I'll cram two posts into one day.

But for tonight, let's talk fantasy baseball!

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Terrifying Message of Sandra And Woo

There's a web comic out there I read called Sandra And Woo.  It's a story of a twelve year old girl (named Sandra) who lives with her father.  She winds up with a pet raccoon named "Woo" (which in itself is rather bizarre) and soon after realizes that animals can talk.  That is, they can talk to her, nobody else has found out yet as far as I'm aware.

For the most part the strip is interesting.  There are some cool little plot threads happening with a lot of the side characters that Sandra and/or Woo intersect with, and there aren't any characters who are simply cardboard cut-outs of "bad guys."

It's not perfect, of course.  The fact that Sandra has a friend named "Cloud" (whose parents are avid Final Fantasy fans) who trains to be a master sword fighter makes the whole thing start to feel like at any moment Sandra is going to discover a mystical gem that will give her "Raccoon Princess Power" or something.

However, the most recent story line has bothered me for some time now.  I realized that underneath a quaint story about a raccoon trying to be the first to climb a sheer cliff face, there's a much, much darker message.

Namely, if you aren't getting pregnant and having babies, you're wasting your life.

The whole problem revolves around the "Raccoon Goddess" whose name is "Seeoahtlahmakaskay."

Yeah, I can't pronounce it either without choking on my tongue.

Anyway, when the character attempting to climb the cliff (named Butterfly) reaches the pinnacle, Seeoahtlahmakaskay is there to greet her.

Now, am I the only one who thinks it's rather cruel to tell someone, when they've achieved something no other person (or raccoon) has accomplished before, that "oh hey, I had to make your parents hook up to have you, they totally weren't into each other, so technically this victory of yours is really my victory."

I mean, that's just cold.

Add on to that effect that the comic has established that raccoons don't mate for life.  So not only did the Raccoon Goddess have to "work her tail off" to get her father to hook up with her mother, but it was more than likely just a "wham, bam, thank you ma'am" encounter.

Later, when Butterfly is feeling a hint of disappointment that she's accomplished everything she wanted to in life.  Look at what Seeoahtlah- look at what her "Goddess" seems to recommend.

So, yeah, you've done your life's work, time to sit down and crank out some kids.  This is considering that Butterfly was just told by her "Goddess" in a previous strip that a climbing technique she invented has saved many raccoon lives.  But hey, you do one thing in life, then it's off to having kids, right?  That's how life works?

Oh, and look at the "Goddess" and her reaction when Butterfly decides to do something else.

Look at that disappointed face.

But it only gets worse from there.

Once again, the Goddess has made it all about her.  Obviously a normal celebration for something incredible one of their number did is insufficient, so let's take a close look at what she does.  A divine being has just used her divine powers to slip an entire mob of her followers some celestial "ecstacy" at their party.  All that's missing is some flashing lights and a dubstep soundtrack and the massive group "date rape" would be complete.  Because it doesn't matter what else the raccoon populace might have going on in their lives, their Goddess wants babies, dammit!

This is the most recent strip.  The Raccoon Goddess is essentially telling Butterfly she's mistaken in what she's doing, from simply pointing out that she's "going the wrong way" to the fact that "what you want to do is wrong, you need a man in your life to make you happy.  And have babies."  The fact that Butterfly has to apologize for how she chooses to spend her life, even if it's doing something that might inspire other creatures or find a new, life-saving climbing technique, is simply...what's the word I'm looking for?

Abhorrent.  There's the word.

I mean, these are characters with very human emotions and personalities.  Some are jerks, some are kind.  Some have dreams and goals for their lives, others simply take life as it comes.  Some (such as Woo and his girlfriend whose name I can't remember there on the log in the last comic) even fall in love and are willing to risk their lives for each other.

Now imagine if whoever your faith revolves around descended to Earth, looked around, and declared "what are all you women doing?  Why aren't you cranking out more kids?  Chop chop, those eggs aren't going to fertilize themselves!  What's that?  No, you can't be happy with your life as it is right now, you don't have a man creating a new life inside you as we speak!  Do I have to force you all to be horny so this can turn into one giant orgy?"

I don't know about you, but I find the idea of some divine being doing that to people completely disturbing.

Plus, look at panel four.  "...think of all the kind and handsome males..."  Remember, it's very rare for a raccoon to mate for life, so when Seeoahtlahmakaskay says "all" she probably intends for Butterfly to hook up with all of them.  "I'm sorry, but I feel that your privates should be a revolving door for any guy who's good looking and is willing to pick up the check after dinner."

Now, to be fair, considering how often these creatures are killed, accidentally or on purpose, I can understand why their Goddess would be concerned with the raccoon population.  If the raccoons were portrayed as being animals on that level, that would be one thing.  However, we've already seen that these creatures are distinctive and unique.  They have different dreams and goals in life.  Sure, maybe some just want to chill in the woods, eat some berries, and mate with others, but Woo enjoys living with a family of humans and trying his hands (paws) at new things.

Maybe I'm just overthinking it, but so far this story line might be enough to make me stop reading the comic entirely.  I might give it one more week to see if they drop the whole "Seeoahtlahmakaskay is this close to telling Butterfly she's stupid and her dreams are stupid and she needs to be a mother to get any satisfaction from life" plot and move on.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Ask Erik: Episode Fifty-Six

To Erik: Are there types of movies you just avoid completely?

Yeah, bad ones.  ...well, okay, that's not really true, but I will give you an honest answer.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Night of Eire - Or, "How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Walk Out Of Bad Shows"

On Sunday, as a special event, my family and I decided to attend a special show at the Southworth Planetarium in Portland.  This is a small planetarium in the University of Southern Maine.  It's not a very large planetarium, but it allows for a more intimate display rather than the grandiose IMAX displays you'd get at somewhere like the Boston Museum of Science.  Each has its advantages, but for the type of show we were expecting that night, it seemed that a smaller venue would be more appropriate.

So, what was Night of Eire supposed to be?  Well, here's the description:

While the upper world convulses with the tumult of St, Patrick's Day revelers, the Southworth Planetarium will commemorate the holiday with a more elegiac and celestial observance:  an event that blends the ancient Irish elements of stones, stories and stars.    This program represents an amalgam of stone circles; celestial mythology; and Irish legends.     Our stone circle scholar, Lawrence Price, will guide you through some of Ireland's most exquisitely beautiful and storied stone circles: such as Lough Crew, the witch's hill; and the Hill of Tara, which has witnessed the coronations of 142 ancient Irish kings. Also, the colossal Newgrange, designed to capture the solstice sunrise and, astonishingly, the moon cycles.

Sounds pretty neat, huh?  Well, it's not quite what we got.

In fact, let's twist this around into a Top Eleven Ways To Make Me Leave Your Event

Everybody Dance Now- well, okay, not everyone.

Because you had no idea you needed it.

You're welcome.  You know, for the smile on your face right now.  Yeah, that.  You're welcome.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Where On Earth Is Carmen Sandiego Part Six

Welcome back to another look at the Where On Earth Is Carmen Sandiego? cartoon, a series that has so far attempted to show a person with a ridiculous amount of personal wealth steal things to contact aliens, make a custom painting, grow her own pet dinosaur, and put her likeness on the moon., to be fair, that painting one does seem rather tame next to the others, but they can't all be completely outlandish crimes, right?

So let's just jump straight into this next episode, which left me with a strange moral dilemma:  Should Carmen have been allowed to get away with it?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Erik's Favorite Things: Mythbusters

Let's look at the definition of science:

  1. 1.
    the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment., yeah.  Let's go with an easier definition.


a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically  arranged and showing the operation of general laws: the mathematical sciences.
systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and  experimentation.
any of the branches of natural or physical science.
systematized knowledge in general.
knowledge, as of facts or principles; knowledge gained by systematic study.

Now, I'm quick to admit that the Discovery Channel isn't always the best source of "science" in the world.  Considering they appear to have several "docudramas" that are "dramatized television movies/series based on actual moments" and some appear to be done the same way The Possession was, namely, someone heard something once and decided to make up a whole bunch of lies around it.

But the channel still has enough of my respect to keep me coming back for programs such as Planet Earth, Life, and others.  Plus, of course, there's Mythbusters, a show that I think has done more for getting children and adults interested in science again since... well, since Bill Nye went off the air.  Or maybe even more than that.  Maybe not since people started wondering if MacGyver could really do all that stuff we saw him do.

So let's look at Mythbusters and see if two guys blowing stuff up can really count as "science."

Thursday, March 13, 2014

More Games From G5, Plus An Update

G5 games, the company that proudly promotes on their website "a new game every week," just keeps popping up on the list of apps I try out.  Some are good.  Some are tolerable.  Some are just downright bizarre.  Some feel almost unplayable.

So let's go down the list and see which ones I'd recommend people try if they have an iDevice, and which ones they should probably pass on in favor of something better, like dropping said iDevice down a flight of stairs.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Ask Erik: Episode Fifty-Five

You ask, me answer.  Pretty simple, no?

To Erik: Who do you see as the best political candidate for each party for President?, man.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Cosmos - A Spacetime Odyssey

Confession time:  I'm a huge science nerd, but I've never seen a full episode of the original Cosmos starring Carl Sagan.  I've seen snippets here and there, but I don't think I ever managed to watch it on television.  Everything I've seen was online.

Yes, I'm aware this is blasphemy.  No, I don't care.

I also didn't like Goonies, so stick that in your nerd pipe.

Where was I?

Oh, right.  On Sunday FOX (and its affiliate stations) aired the first episode of the new series of Cosmos, starring Neil Degrasse Tyson, who I've already discussed before and still feel he should be the host of a smooth jazz radio station that adults get twitchy about their kids listening to.

So, what did I think?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Where On Earth Is Carmen Sandiego Part Five

I've been trying to think of the biggest things I always love about over the top cartoon series is the fact that there's always so much wealth bouncing around, even as a child I always wondered why the bad guys would even try to steal anything else.

Let's look at Carmen Sandiego's crew.  They have blimps, hover technology, devices that could possibly splice together DNA to create a dinosaur.  They have technology that allows them to steal a multi-acre satellite dish and transport it around the world.

Obviously, she's not hurting in terms of wealth.  They're also not the only ones.  You have gangs and crime syndicates running around with better technology than most people in the world do, and yet they seem to have really pedestrian goals.

For instance, take every single villain in Scooby Doo.  They spend an elaborate amount of money building fake pirate ships, tunneling out under castles, and designing elaborate castles to get a few thousand dollars worth of gems from an old lady's wall or because they want to buy out an amusement park.

You have groups like the Misfits, a rival rock band to Jem and the Holograms who at one point had a fully functional time machine.  What did they do with it?  Try to kill off the good guys and become the world's best rock band, of course.  I mean, what could you possibly think of doing with a time machine?

At least with Carmen, though, you know it's about the challenge.  Sure she's already wealthy beyond anybody's wildest dreams and has technology that makes S.H.I.E.L.D. envious...but hey, if she managed to get away with stealing the Statue of Liberty, then man, that would be something that would go down in history.

So let's get into today's episode, where Carmen attempts to steal, I kid you not, the moon.

Right off the bat this is my favorite episode.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Erik's Favorite Things: Tokyo Underground

I've mentioned this series before in my "Top Eleven Openings From Anime" (which for some reason is having trouble loading the videos).  However, having finally tracked down where I can get the DVDs for dirt cheap, I figured I was due to give a bit more information about it.

Still Ten More "Classic" Video Game Covers

It's been a while since we've looked in on our good friends at Oh Videogames, so I thought I'd dredge up some classics from the depth and see what we can get nostalgic about.

Surely there must be some gold in this.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Top Eleven: Reasons Why Luigi Is Better Than Mario

There is no bigger video game mascot than Mario.  

Okay, actually, that's not correct.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Pac-Man is actually the most recognizable video game mascot/character of all time, with Mario a very close second.

However, while I've played so many of his video games that any time anybody says "Who is it?" in a movie, my brain automatically fills in "It's-a me, Mario!", he hasn't been my favorite brother.

No, that honor goes to Luigi.

So why is it the world's most standard second banana is my favorite?  Here's a list of eleven reasons why.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ask Erik: Episode Fifty-Four

I was torn this week between writing about newspaper comics (my favorites and least favorites), how I'd try to "fix" DC comics, and a few other nerdy topics, but I'm saving those for upcoming columns.  Today, I'm looking back to the 90s.

To Erik:  What job that you had was the most fun?

People who know me tend to know what my favorite job I ever had was.  That would be the non-profit I worked for that got telecommunications equipment out to people with disabilities.

However, the most fun?

Not even close.

For that, we go back to the late 90s, when I was an ed tech for summer school classes at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.

For anyone who hasn't been there, the National Zoo is a pretty amazing place.  It covers a huge area in the city, and is divided up into different sections based on species and/or region the animals came from.

The variety of animals is pretty spectacular, and I say that as somebody who visited a lot of zoos in his life.  No, seriously, if I travel anywhere and learn that there's a zoo nearby, I make sure to take a day to visit.  I'm almost as avid about aquariums, but I will admit I've let a few slip by me.

When I worked there, it was a volunteer position, but I still considered it a job.  I had set hours, I had a supervisor, and I had a uniform to wear.

I was also more knowledgeable about the animals than the actual teachers were.  While the teachers were handling the overall classroom mechanics and leading the classes around the zoo, I was explaining to children about how dangerous an emu or ostrich can be, why the red panda isn't correctly named.  I would improvise a quick craft session to teach kids how huge the wingspan of an albatross is, or how powerful the jaws of a crocodile can be.

I also got to take part in animal demonstrations.  Granted, I wasn't really allowed to hold wild animals or guide them around on leashes, but there was a moment at the bat pen I got to stand inside the pen to help the teacher show how bats can "see" with sonar.  I also had a titi monkey jump on me once, but that was just when I was standing near an open display the monkeys were allowed to hang out on.

It's also where I had my favorite lunch ever.  Of all time.

Now, the lunch itself was pretty simple.  A sandwich, a piece of fruit, and a small bottle of juice.  Sometimes a candy bar, otherwise pretty basic stuff.

The best part would be where I'd get to eat my lunch.

Amazingly enough, the bird house isn't the most popular spot in any zoo.  I never understood why, since even at that time people were realizing that birds are more closely related to dinosaurs than most lizards are.  Watching how wings move on creatures varying in size from the tiniest hummingbird to an eagle, or watching how they're able to position themselves to walk between branches is fascinating to me.

But towards the back is a curtained off area.  It's not closed to the public, but there would almost never be anybody in there.  It was a cage with a black light shining at the top of it which is where the zoo kept the kiwis.

It was a small, circular chamber, where you could sit on a bench and watch the kiwis run around in their enclosure.  It was private, away from any of the city noise that might spread into the zoo, I just loved watching the little birds run back and forth.

The program was only a couple of months long, but I remember having an absolute blast the whole time, even if I wasn't getting paid.  It wasn't just getting to hang around one of my favorite types of locations, but also seeing the looks on the faces of the children as they learned something that excited them, or discovered something they never knew that was fun.  It was a thrill being able to see the excitement build on their faces as you approached a new pen or they heard the door knob click because someone was bringing an animal to see them.  They were never disappointed in what they saw, and the excitement was always contagious.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Where On Earth Is Carmen Sandiego Part Four

I find it interesting that some things really push my buttons but others don't.  Watching a "crime scene" drama, I'll frequently get frustrated and call the show out for how ridiculous it can become.  I think the defining moment in my opinion of them when the "perky goth girl" that everybody but me apparently finds to be the hottest woman to ever be on television was fighting off a hacker attack...and so another agent joined her on the same keyboard.

Then again, NCIS tends to win for "stupidest moments involving technology" such as the woman who had "every high score" on every MMORPG (cause, y'know, all video games have high scores, right?).

And that's not even getting into the plots of these shows.  I used to watch Law & Order: SVU until they decided that every single story had to resolve the crime quickly so they could get into some kind of political drama.

"Hey, we think this person shot the victim because he's anti-abortion and she was pro-choice."

"Great, now let's discuss the woman's right to choose for forty-five minutes, because as cops we have nothing else to do."

"Wait, are you sure there isn't something in a headline somewhere we can blow up to a ridiculous extreme first?"

Plus, the crimes are often ridiculous to the point of almost being a satire of actual crime, which begs the question:

"How is it so many series about people stealing or murdering people drives me bananas, but a show about a woman who steals a multi-acre satellite dish just makes me smile in glee?"

Let's look at that as we dig into the newest episode.