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Archive for April, 2009

tv is good for you

Lonely Hearts Find Comfort in TV Characters

Don’t feel delusional for turning to favorite television characters on “Lost” or “Brothers and Sisters” for comfort – new research suggests that such illusory relationships can buffer people against loneliness or sadness.

Subjects in one study who felt down from remembering unhappy moments of social rejection soon perked up upon writing about their favorite TV shows and characters.

Sometimes even enthusiastic TV viewers can’t believe how attached they are to their favorite stories, Gabriel said.

“They think it’s almost illogical – you watch a show or get a book and you think, ‘Stupid, these people don’t even exist,'” Gabriel said.

i have never thought my relationship with tv illogical. the average real person is probably a lot dumber than your average tv writer, and hence tv characters are probably a lot smarter than real life people. i often find myself asking, “will hanging out w/ X person be more interesting than watching a new episode of friday night lights?” the answer is almost always “no.” sorry blog readers, i would much rather hang out with matt saracen than you.

speaking of tv mimicking real relationships, i dumped heroes a couple weeks back, and i’m finding the experience to resemble past bad relationships. the courtship started off beautiful, but when the honeymoon was over, it was disturbingly hard to let go. i just kept hoping things would improve and it would be like it was before. i broke up with heroes recently, but let’s be honest, it was really over more than a year ago. i hear heroes has gotten better without me, but i just have to move on with my own life from now on.

hold on. i need a moment.

leandro: glad a story about unhealthy relationships w/ tv characters made you think of me.

tv update

been gone for many weeks and i’ve finally caught up with almost all my shows. still behind on kings and terminator.

1. finally watched the finale for friday night lights. i like to joke that i can gauge the quality of an FNL episode by how many times i cry. too bad the finale was just one long sustained cry for me, punctuated by commercials watched in superfast mode. the set up for next season is fantastic and really deals well with the whole “everyone is graduating” problem. grade: A.

2. word is that life is probably going to get canceled. that sucks. this is jay leno’s fault, for taking up all the 10pm spots on NBC. who wants talk show BS at 10pm? no one. and who wants it to be jay leno? idiots. life finale: A-; NBC decisions: F.

3. watched two episodes of southland and i was impressed enough by ben mckenzie, but i find the bleeped out swear words way too distracting. why write cuss words into the script, and then bleep them out? my working theory is that this show was made for a different network, perhaps cable or premium cable, but then got picked up by NBC, and had to be cleaned up. can anyone confirm or deny? show: B; script planning: D-.

4. law and order: criminal intent is back, with jeff goldblum playing a jollier version of vincent d’onofrio. i’m kind of annoyed w/ the eccentric male paired with the stone-faced female partner, but i forgive l&o b/c goldblum is so badass. i’d just like to see the flighty female lead detective with an uptight male partner at some point. it’s the scully/moulder dynamic, and i’m sick of it. d’onofrio: A- (for getting fat); goldblum: A; show: B+.

5. speaking of unhinged women, in plain sight is back. no one watches this show, but they should b/c fred weller’s character holds the whole ship together. weller: A+; show: B.

6. anyone watch my boys? i obviously can relate to the lead character’s mantourage, and the midwestern feel makes me wistful. i like talking cap and trade, but sometimes conversing about nothing is comforting, too. the midwest: A; show: B+.

7. bones is awesome, as usual. i hear bones and booth have sex in an upcoming episode. oddly, i’m not looking forward to that. show: A.

8. i got three episodes behind on 24, so instead of actually watching them, i read the great synopses on the FOX site. can’t beat plot descriptions like this: “She questions what he’s talking about. “You’ll find out,” he says mysteriously as he is led away.” why even watch tv? show: B; recaps: B+ (for time saved).

9. for some reason, i watch lie to me and criminal minds. these shows are mediocre, at best, yet i just wanted to put it out there if someone else had commentary. ::crickets:: both shows: B-.

10. i still watch reaper, but the show is starting to suck. i was definitely not into the whole subplot about the dude lusting after his FOB stepsister. just made me uncomfortable on so many levels. FOBs = uncomfortable. incest = uncomfortable. ick. subplot: D-; show: B-.

11. lastly, i’ve deleted heroes and 90210 from tivo completely. the episode of 90210 where annie is annoying as usual, silver screens a glorified sex tape then wants to burn down her teacher’s house, and naomi goes drag racing has “jump the shark” written all over it. then i heard tori spelling is planning an appearance, and i’m so out of there. heroes just kind of has sucked for a while.

and that’s it. expect more about kings and terminator later.

portfolio magazine, RIP

i think only 2 other friends of mine care that portfolio mag is folding, but i just wanted to use it to point out this excellent observation from businessweek’s jon fine about portfolio:

Conde Nast made a classic mistake of spotting a consumer magazine “opportunity” based on advertising and demographic considerations, not actual reader demand.

this kind of strategic thinking is just asking for failure, and this advice hits close to home. anyone listening?

protesters, get a life

anti-globalization activists were in DC over the weekend, protesting the IMF and world bank, and being overall very annoying. they took out a PNC bank in my neighborhood. actually, that’s my bank, where i get shit done. i’m feeling territorial, and this annoys me greatly, plus being blanketly anti-globalization is stupid. don’t f w/ my bank.

also, this is an excellent quote from reason magazine:

Protesting the International Monetary Fund by smashing up and spray-painting a PNC bank and Wachovia branch in Logan Circle a mile and a half away is roughly akin to registering your dissatifaction with a New York Stock Exchange meeting on Wall Street by urinating on some Greenwich Village ATMs.

what were they doing in logan circle anyway?

blogging will resume

i’ve been getting complaints about where i’ve been. between flying to colorado and back, then busing it to philly and back, and then being struck by a debilitating bacterial infection of a major organ, i have not been able to blog much the past couple weeks. thank you alexander fleming and your wonderful bug-killers.

also, now i realize why people hate HMOs. thanks for not calling me back, bastards. it’s a good thing every person in my family is in the medical profession and can diagnose me over the phone and send prescriptions via fax. if you ever need a story written about you, i got yo back.

btw, that’s jesse on the right. thanks for the soup, sorbet, and orange juice. woot.

how do you say ‘chipotle?’

the original.

i was in the chipotle motherland (denver) this week, and took pics of the original. this is interesting to my friday burrito work peeps, so others, please don’t make fun.

more importantly, while in colorado, i kept running into people pronouncing “chipotle” as “chee-pole-TEE.” at least a half dozen people. in fact, it was always said like this. what the hell?

wikipedia tells me that chipotle, as in the flavor, should be pronounced “chee-POTE-lay.” the “T” is obviously before the “L.” why would you ever think to reverse it when saying it? this has been labeled a colorado pronounciation FAIL. this is particularly bad b/c there is a large mexican/hispanic population in the state. ask for a little help, white people. not that hard.

worst coffeemaker name

ouchythis is a recurring problem for me. i read “bunn-o-matic” as “burn-o-matic,” which is a particularly bad name for a hot-drinks purveyor.

if you think this makes me an idiot, in my defense, it’s usually early in the morning when i’m drinking terrible batch coffee from a hotel.

this saved me today

reporting fluff pieces for work is somewhat soul-killing and emotionally draining. THANK GOD FOR PEEPS.

peep show iii

the peep show singlehandedly justifies the existence of the washington post.

p.s.: still in colorado.