Tag Archives: TV

A Real Fan


Being a fan means something. It gives you purpose. It fills a hole in your heart that you can’t explain. It offers an outlet for your passions to be released. Being a part of a fandom? Well, that can make you feel right at home. A fandom is like a family. There will be different levels of involvement. Some only show up for the main events, while others show up at everything. Some will irritate you and some will become closer than you could ever imagine. Some are sane, but there’s always those nutters like your old Aunt Alma who’ve cornered the market on crazy. Regardless, through thick and thin, if you’re a fan, you are not alone.

I, myself, have been a fan of many things through the years. Being a fan of anything can be as exhilarating and joyous as it can be frustrating, tiresome, and depressing (any Cubs fan will confirm this is true). Being a fan is also an investment. Whether it’s time or finances being sacrificed for the love of the game, television show, fictional character, political ideal, etc., one’s energy is being spent in the form of unadulterated devotion. This is meaningful. THIS is a big deal. However, after watching my Twitter timeline implode like Donald Trump during this week’s debate, I question what being a fan is really all about.

There are those that go with the flow, and then there are those that go bat-shit-crazy too far. i.e. The Steve Bartman Incident. The abuse he endured was unacceptable. Sure, I wanted to ring his neck like the rest of them, but that feeling eventually went away… after a few years (no really, I’m not bitter).

So here’s the issue – no matter how die-hard you adore whatever it is you adore, there are boundaries, but where is that line? Social media has allowed us to band together more easily. No more waiting for tailgates or water cooler moments with our nearest and dearest to share our excitement. Just last night I was following the Cubs versus Dodgers NCLS Game 5 on my Twitter feed and though I couldn’t be at the game, the interactions online made me feel like I was still a part of things. I could share similar sentiments with fans 3000 miles away, and when the Cubs clinched the win, I was jumping up in down along with every other Cubbies lover there is. It was glorious.

However, social media is a fickle thing and a double edged sword. Though it’s expanded our connections beyond our backyard, it’s also taken those (sometimes quite volatile and inappropriate) conversations, once limited to your best friends or close colleagues, and allowed those thoughts to be plastered across the web for anyone to see.

I’m all for being honest, but there is such a thing as being polite. There’s decorum. There’s a general respect we should have for one another that seemingly disintegrates online. My timeline was imploding over rumors about a storyline that may or may not happen on my current favorite show (Arrow). Did Ithe rumors excite me? No. Is that how I want my favorite story to be told? No. However, I am a fan, so I won’t just give up on it. At the end of the day, that show has endeared itself to me and has me wanting the best for it and those that make it happen. That said, I’ve witnessed “fans” taking to their keyboards demanding resignations from the writers, calling for boycotts of the show, threatening the producers, applauding lower ratings and essentially giving the fandom a bad name. Remember how I said fandom is like family? Well these “fans” are like the red-headed step children in revolt. One of my biggest pet peeves is a vocal minority presumptively speaking for the whole.

Those “fans” aren’t fans in my eyes. I wouldn’t consider them pink hats, either. Take it from someone who’s team hasn’t won a World Series in 108 years … patience is a virtue. Sometimes you just have to have faith. It can’t always be pennant wins and rainbows. Sometimes it’s sucking it up for the love of the game and holding out hope that the best is yet to come. Did I want to cry in a corner when Joey was with Dawson instead of Pacey? YES. Was I disappointed Mad Men never killed Betty? YES. Do I want to pull my hair out every time Michigan loses to Ohio State? YES. But such is fan life, right? It’s not taking the smack talk I shared with my bestie over beers and publicly ridiculing those that I claim to love with it. Some conversations should be kept behind closed doors. You’re in it for the long haul or you’re not. That’s what being a real fan should be. Just because there’s a platform which allows easy engagement, doesn’t mean you should always engage. Sure, knee-jerk reactions come with the territory, but hurling insults at your favorites and decreeing “being done” isn’t. Don’t kill the fandom vibe by being the drunk idiot uncle everyone hates. Walk away. It’s ok, though I can’t say you’ll be missed.


Law & Order It Was Not – Part 1

Jury Duty


Most people that know me know that Law & Order is my jam. Not SVU, or Criminal what have you, or any other iteration or spinoff Dick Wolf dreamt up for the purposes of expanding the brand above and beyond any creator’s wildest machinations. I’m talking about the original. The one he purposed to outlive Gunsmoke’s legacy in the annals of television history. This is a show I can watch repeatedly, love richly, and apparently one I can understand in any language. Continue reading


Lib Goes To The Library


I’ve been obsessed with television and movies since I could crawl to the dial flipping it back and forth between The Electric Company and The Brady Bunch. I’ve binged watched with the best of them, but it is time for me to expand my horizons.

I’ve decided to read a book. This is huge for me. This is me adulting. For those who know me, and as I mentioned above, I’m a TV and movie kind of gal. I’m visual. I prefer sequentially moving images to that of the printed static word. Every book assigned in school got the sufficiently skimmed treatment to complete whatever essay, test or quiz was assigned. I never actually took the time to read from beginning to end, cover to cover. I even cheated at Choose Your Own Adventure Books. To be clear – I CHEATED at CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE BOOKS. My attempts at investing in the written meanderings or machinations of the published variety have been limited to Cosmopolitan, Mad and Highlights magazines over the years.  So, as you can see, I’m not a reader.

That said, there are a select few I’ve read through and through, and in most of those cases I read them more than once.  Unfortunately I could likely count that number of fully read books on two hands.

1.      Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire – 8 times. Because I was living in Italy and everything else was in Italian.

2.      Pride and Prejudice- 6 times. Because it’s Pride and Prejudice.

3.      Catcher in the Rye - 4 times. Because I HATED IT THAT MUCH.

4.      A Brave New World – 2 times. Because WTF?

5.      The Princess Bride- 2 times. Because who wouldn’t?

6.      Revolutionary Road – 1 time. Because Kate and Leo totally sold it for me.

Now these are just the through and throughs. Not one missed word or page. Other than that, I’ve fake-read MANY books. All skimmed in some way, shape, form or other. Sometimes I just outright skipped to the end or read the book wrapping to gather the general idea before BSing my way to good grades and teacher’s graces. And for the record — straight A’s in all of my English classes since always, so apparently my half-read-general-gist method works. No cliff notes or Google summaries back in the day. Just pure glancing and guessing earned me those A’s.   Books were time wasters in my opinion. I had tennis to do, friends to see and Dawson’s Creek to watch. I’m ok with that.

I renewed my library card last week, because, well, apparently libraries still exist. So I checked out a book. I suppose in these days of Amazon Prime and bookstores every other block I could have purchased the book, but I’m also trying to de-clutter my life. Who needs more dust collectors lying around? Besides, if I really love the book, then maybe I’ll purchase it. Unless this is one of those instances of why buy the cow if I’m getting the milk for free…or is that just a sex and marriage idiom and not applicable to library checkouts?

Killing Yourself To LiveWith all the pop-culture and podcasts I’m invested in these days, Chuck Klosterman has come up the lucky winner. Shortly I will be embarking on Killing Yourself To Live. I would have preferred Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs from what I’ve gathered online, but the library only had it on Audio CD which would negate the whole me reading a book thing in this instance. Beggars, or stubborn people, can’t be choosers so Killing Yourself To Live it is. We’ll see how it goes.




Arrow Versus Gold Rush

If you do not watch Arrow or Gold Rush, this may not be the post for you. You’ve been warned…

Those who know me well know I am a HUGE Arrow fan. I binged the first two seasons just prior to the season 3 opener and I was SO hooked. It was the type of show I’d been missing from my television lineup.  I was never a comic book girl, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every Michael Keaton and Christian Bale iteration of Batman that’s been produced. I still think Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor is probably THE BEST comic book villain portrayed in a theatrical release EVER.  And I always look forward to whatever DC or Marvel creation is being brought to the big screen next. So though I wasn’t necessarily familiar with the story of The Green Arrow, the show had me intrigued and my appreciation has just continued to grow to epic proportions ever since.

Clifford can’t stand it. Every time I have Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow or Supergirl on (yeah, Greg Berlanti pretty much owns my eyeballs Monday through Thursday), Clifford rolls his eyes and starts to moan. No matter how amazing the episode, how action packed, how captivating the storyline, he scoffs and pokes fun and does this irritatingly asinine commentary for the duration of the show. The man likes Batman, Spiderman and any one of the The Avengers films or their characters’ stand-alones he’s seen, so I don’t get it. Of course he didn’t like Affleck’s Daredevil, but then who did? It’s not like he doesn’t like those types of stories or that sort of action. Here is Clifford’s argument summed up in four words – it’s all the same.

He wanted to offer an argument, so I offered mine in return.

He thinks that every episode that airs is the same old same old and he can’t watch. Too boring and too terrible. Here’s the rub – Clifford’s favorite show (next to Modern Marvels) is Gold Rush. IF EVER THERE WAS A SHOW ABOUT THE SAME OLD SAME OLD IT IS THAT ONE RIGHT THERE. Don’t get me wrong, I can watch and enjoy Parker’s struggles and Tony Beets’s gruff attitude as much as the next guy. I am more than happy to watch Todd Hoffman’s inevitably stupid next move, but if we want to compare apples to apples (as in same old same old) let’s look at the facts here.

I watch a show about a hero’s journey. I am watching the story of a rich playboy idiot child on his way to becoming a beloved superhero man. There is ever growing character development, ever evolving plots, and an ever expanding universe. I am a spoiler fiend and yet I still sit on the edge of my seat wondering how a character is going to react to the latest curve ball coming their way.  What will Oliver Queen or his team do? What villain’s throwing his hat in the ring? Who will come back from the dead? What wrench will be tossed in to shake things up? Where are they going with any of this? And why isn’t John Barrowman gracing my screen more? These are things that keep me invested. These are the things that keep the show fresh and different and compelling week to week.

Now let’s take a gander at Gold Rush. Even if you are invested in the characters, the only curve ball they’re thrown is what piece of rusted old equipment is going to break down next. That is the only question. Oh, and maybe what super moronic decision Todd Hoffman’s making after that.

Let’s talk character development first. In what, 5 or 6 seasons?  I haven’t seen an ounce of growth in Todd Hoffman at all. And even though I readily admit, Oliver Queen often takes many steps back from that latest step forward, he’s gone from a serial killer in the first season to running for mayor of the freaking city! That’s something. That’s momentum. That’s progress. Todd Hoffman made poor life and rather arrogant choices from the beginning and those choices only seem to become poorer and more arrogant as the seasons continue. Gene switched teams, but is that progress? Parker has gotten taller. I suppose that counts for character growth even if it’s the more physical variety. After six years, each of Clifford’s little gold miners seems the same. The fight scenes, which tend to spur growth in any character in some way shape form or another, are just that, grown men yelling at each other and getting pissed off and walking away – a fight, sort of like what teenage girls do in middle school. No hand to hand combat, parkouring, swordsmanship or special powers to unfold anywhere on screen (though even in a middle school girl fight, there might be at least some hair being pulled).  Nope. Just some miners’ egos getting in the way of the job leading to brief heated confrontations, and ending in public complaints on camera.

Now about plots … saying your goal is to bring in more gold than the previous season does not an ever evolving plot bunny make. In fact, it is the EXACT SAME PLOT year in and year out. There is no uniqueness to it. And the only thing keeping you on the edge of your seat is whether or not the excavator or the dredge is giving way this episode causing all the mining to come to an abrupt and utter halt. Seriously. Thanks to the dramatic score, there’s your tension. And like the Titanic sinking at the end of the film, it is never a surprise ending.

And let’s address an ever expanding universe. Todd Hoffman’s self-inflicted fiasco in South America doesn’t count.  In Alaska. Always in Alaska mining this creek or that.

I will say, like my thoughts on more Barrowman, I’ll take more of John Schnabel any day. I LOVE that man.

In breaking it down, there is no contest in my mind which is the more interesting, dramatic, action-packed, ever changing story unfolding before me. I’ve tried repeatedly to explain these points to Clifford; I try to make my argument so he’ll see these things and maybe give Arrow a chance.

Then he dropped the why I will never get through to him on this.

“Here’s what it is – I could watch a channel that did nothing but show machines working and moving all day long. No people. Just watching machines doing their thing. Hauling dirt, drilling shit, grading sites, whatever. All day long. Every day. That’s my dream TV.”



I can’t argue with that. Like I can pretty much argue with anything, but I can’t with that.

I've got nothing.

I’ve got nothing.

But Arrow still wins. Every. Time.