Hello fair readers. I know it's been some time since my last post, I spent some time across the pond in Amsterdam, but now I'm back in action and ready to rant. Thanks to the writers' strike and the seemingly random forces of the television powers that be, these past two weeks have served as a transitional period that I think comes at the perfect time. Previous to this mid March shift I was watching Breaking Bad, AMC's critically acclaimed tale of a high school chemistry teacher turned meth dealer, and ABC's Lost like some sort of religious zealot. Post mid March shift, Breaking Bad will have ended its freshman effort and I'll have shifted my pious fervor for Lost to the final season of Battlestar Galactica. The icing on the cake is that South Park has returned and Bravo has switched from Project Runway (I'm just not fashionable enough to appreciate it) to Top Chef (my favorite reality show) with an interesting caveat which I will address later in the rant. Before I look to the future I must look to the past.
Breaking Bad is closing the season out much stronger than I expected it to. My high school chemistry teacher, despite being a fantastic lecturer, was also bitter at the world. His bitterness was mainly driven by the poor salary he was receiving, but if he had a retarded son and lung cancer to boot, I could see him turning to cooking Meth, which makes this whole scenario easier for me to swallow. Breaking Bad's principles all put forth performances worth recognition, but the patriarch of the family takes the cake. Once of Malcolm in the Middle fame (and Seinfeld as the hilarious dentite Tim Whatley), Bryan Cranston gives the performance of his career. Every cough, every wince, every furl of his brow breathes life into this complex character who has decided to stare death in the face and go on one final adventure to leave money for his family for when he no longer can provide for them. In doing so he has discovered a darker side of himself with a taste for the forbidden fruit. Despite playing so early in 2008 I'd expect to see some nods his way when the award season rolls around again. If you haven't checked out AMC's latest foray into original series, it's about that time.
I love Lost. Love it. It's so nice to have a television show that I pine for. No need to praise it though, those reading are either Lost, or not Lost; there are no casual Lost spectators. I've heard lots of chatter of people being pissed off about the island's magic extending to the mainland (specifically that Island returnees are not able to die), so let me offer my theory about why this is not the case. The island's power / mystique clearly has to do with time. We've seen Desmond's consciousness travel through time and we know this sort of experience has happened to multiple people including Minkowski, Brandon and a lab rat. The helicopter seems to take about a day to reach the freighter in island time, but from the freighter's perspective it only takes minutes. It's clear that island time and regular time are not the same. I was surprised the time issue wasn't addressed in the Michael episode since he both left and came back to the area surrounding the island. It seemed to me that Michael went through a lot despite a relatively short amount of time transpiring on the island since he left. This of course is pure speculation, it was not directly addressed. In the episode 'Flashes Before Your Eyes' a woman working at the jewelry store explains to Desmond that he cannot give the ring to Penny because it would change the future resulting in death to all. The woman, appropriately named Ms. Hawking after our wheel chaired friend Stevo, explains to him the nature of time travel and the universe sans Steven's robot voice. If someone does manage to change their fate the universe will course correct itself and find another way of forcing them back onto their predetermined path, which Desmond experienced firsthand with Charlie. Finally, the point is here. Michael's inability to die has nothing to do with the magic of the island, but all to do with the fact that the island is on a different timeline and that his death would disrupt that timeline, which the universe course corrects for (I loved when Tom asked Michael if the bullet bounced off his skull or if the gun just jammed). Damn, now that was a rant... I'm done. I've just been informed from a fairly reputable source that we'll be receiving four more episodes in one month's time, so get excited. LOST.
I'll hold off on the Galactica crew till the premier, but you can expect Battlestar ranting aplenty from Rick's Rants. Season 3 was amazing; I just picked up those DVDs for a second run through, and you can be sure this season is gonna be nothing less than bat shit crazy. All I have to say about Stan, Kyle, Cartman and the rest of the Colorado boys after seeing the season 12 opener is that not only am I sure South Park is the best animated show television has to offer; I'm HIV positive.
To the Top Chef producers, executive producers, and everyone involved in the decision making process that led to a lesbian couple being contestants on the show: What the hell? I'm sure they're both talented chef's but come on... I'm not trying to watch The L Word. Not only are you being blatantly obvious that you are simply catering to your major viewership demographic with your contestant selection but you've created an unfair competitive advantage. Every other chef had to leave their comfort zone, family and friends to move into a house with strangers / contenders. These two women can console and help each other in this extremely stressful competition. As of episode 3 the situation hasn't really caused any extra drama, although one of the members of said couple, Zoi, really should have been kicked off for her pathetic attempt at a pasta salad. The inclusion of a couple just makes me call the whole integrity of the show into question since the executive producers have a hand in the decision making process of who gets kicked out (see the disclaimer that flies by at the end of the show at lightning speed). Was Zoi kept on to keep the drama rolling, or did the food judges really think that Erik's corn dog infraction was worse than Zoi's pasta salad that head judge Tom Colicchio described as terrible? Similarly to the number of licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop, the world will never know. All bullshit aside, both Zoi and Jennifer's food have been making my mouth water every episode barring Zoi's aforementioned faux pas in pasta salad form. This season seems to hold more talented chefs than previous seasons so I expect some tough decisions down the stretch. If you haven't jumped into TV's best reality competition just yet, you should be sure to this Wednesday night. Who will be the next to pack their knives and go?