Thursday, May 26, 2005


I think I might be turning into WC Fields

Or some curmudgeonly bitter old man, anyway.

Not sure what it is about the last couple of weeks, but I seem to be sneering at just about every pop culture flashpoint that's coming down the pike right now. Not that I don't play the cynical card from time to time anyway, but I'm starting to fear for my entertainment.

Two things in particular come to mind:

1) Last night's season finale of Lost.

I've been watching the show all year, but I think I might be the only one in America who was completely disappointed with the exceedingly long May sweeps event. It's hard to articulate why exactly, but I guess like I feel like this show is heading for a total letdown. I'm talking the kind of letdown where you spend three fucking hours in a movie theater to see Jodie Foster meet the aliens and then she does and it's her standing on an imaginary beach with her fucking father. That kind of letdown. That Matrix 2 kind of letdown, where I spent nearly half the movie bothering my buddy Greg with questions like, "Dude, did he fly in the last movie? Where was I?" and "Wait - who are they fighting again?"

I mean, it was a fine couple of episodes, I guess. It's not really that I wanted more secrets about the island answered. It's more like I'm 24 hours of my life into this show, and I'm getting cheesed off. So I want the characters to be cheesed off, too.

So last night, when Locke, acting as always like the great and powerful Oz, tells Dr. Jack that the island called them all there, I wanted Jack to flip out. If I said crap like that to one of my friends, I wouldn't blame them in the least for throwing me a beating. Or at the very least reacting in one of those Nic Cage meets Jim Mora tirades, like:

Jack: The Island?

Locke: Yep.

Jack: The Island called us?

Locke: Yessir.

Jack: The Island CALLED US. THE ISLAND? Well, great, Yoda. So I guess we ought to - THE ISLAND?!? Oh, for crying out loud!

That's right. I'm suggesting that everyone's tolerance for this particular Last of the Mohicans is getting a bit out of hand.

More than that, I guess I wanted some indication that this chapter of the story is over. To me, it's not. So the "others" got Walt. Zippidee-doo. Clare's baby has been kidnapped, or threatened with it, like a gajillion times. So they blew open the hatch and found that it led down a ladder . . .

To quote Al Pacino in Heat, "Well, I am . . . over-fucking-whelmed."

Oh yeah, and Charlie might be on heroin again. I swear to Christ that if I have to watch him go through that again, I will absolutely, positively turn the channel for good.

So I'm giving the show a couple of weeks in the fall. If not, I'm jumping ship.

2) The new Star Wars movie is out.

And I can't even find the motivation. I shelled out my $10 for Episode I: the CGI C-SPAN, and again for Episode II: Attack of the Guys who Look Like Stormtroopers but Aren't Stormtroopers but are sort of Stormtroopers, and so far it's been like watching my childhood dissected by the same literary and film critics who look for homosexual and Marxist interpretations of John Wayne movies.

The folks I know who've seen it have given me a mixed bag of comments. I've heard it's better than Return of the Jedi, the worst one yet, not too bad, not too good, a waste of money, and the culmination of on-screen animation for our time. If I didn't feel like I'd already signed a letter of intent to spend another $10 for me, $10 for Stephanie, and $10 for two medium Diet Cokes and a box of junior mints, I can't imagine that I'd go.

I'm sort of optimistic because there are Wookies in this one. But I'm optimistic at sort of the same level as I am optimistic that a meteor won't hit the Earth. Like, I hope I'm right, but I'm not exactly doing anything about it.

I don't know. Steph and I are running a 10K on Sunday, and I think we'll probably see it then. But I'm not jumping for joy. She fell asleep in Episode II. Which means there's a high percentage chance that we might be paying $10+ for her to take a nap.

Sigh. Maybe there'll be good trailers.

See? What the hell's wrong with me?

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