Don’t Rain on My Shipping Parade

Complex, but functional, healthy, relationships can make great television when the writing is behind them. Don’t let other viewers convince you that negative conflict is necessary for engaging, dynamic, couples. Domesticated happiness with the honest and real tension or conflict of committed relationships is what I grave. There is an audience for it.

Notes from the Affair ...

While I can’t say this was the worst episode ever, it was in part perplexing. It engaged and certainly pulled to influence all fan bases in some positive way, but it left me mystified as to how they can keep writing Blair as this hapless damsel who has no power in her own life.

This is not Blair. Her confidence overrides her insecurities even if it’s by exuding her power over others to mask her fears. She would never dare mope in bathrooms, be seen to be weaker than, or far worse surrender. Yet she did all these things in the span of one episode, and has been weak for far too long in this season.

And don’t get me started on the absurdity that she made a pact with God to save Chuck’s life. From her own words she doesn’t believe in superstitions. “Signs are for the lower class,” something Blair would never aspire to be ever nor dare associate with. And when she attempted to outwit her own instincts in season three she was only led to find out Chuck had slept with Jenny. So much for destined romance. And so much for trusting your own truths.

But apparently with age and supposed lighting speed growth comes a near complete abandonment of character. Thank God Dan is there to remind her who she truly is and can still aspire to be. Whether that be a woman who can lie and scheme with the best of them, or some one who can command her own will and make her own choices.

There’s something to be said for the way the events turned. It certainly offers the tragic trajectory that seems to be the staple to Chuck and Blair’s romance. But it exists to ruin Blair and all she had been written to be up until this season.

That’s what frustrates me the most. Not that she is still hung up on Chuck, but rather she can’t muster the courage to except the consequences of her feelings and move forward for the sake of her own happiness. Though to be fair I question whether she would know personal happiness even if it smacked her in the face, or more appropriately gutted her.

I didn’t expect this to go from her trying to resolve her triangle with Lois and Chuck to her suddenly dropping both men to go running into the arms of Dan (although let’s be honest. That’s kind of what she’s been doing). Nor did I actually believe she was having an affair with Dan (though that too she kind of is - at least on an emotional level). So I’m not mad at the writer’s for playing this whole thing out.

I’m just infuriated by the games they play, and lack of regard they have for their characters. It comes back on Josh Safran’s response about whether Blair could have romantic feelings for Dan. He replied that he couldn’t answer for Blair. But he’s the show runner. Own your characters; speak for them as you are paid to do; and for the love of God show respect to your characters and to the fans who are smart enough to know when your not.

General Hospital Celebrates

It’s another anniversary for General Hospital. There’s a lot of negatives things I could say about the last decade or so of the show. But I’m instead going to focus on a few positives.

I’ve been catching up, as I’m around two months behind, and finally caught the Robin and Patrick wedding. What a glorious, heartfelt, genuine wedding and send-off. I was never a particularly big fan of the pairing, but none-the-less I was swept up in the history and significance of it all.

This show needs sincere happy endings and moments. Such occasions are few and far between. Or the insincerity of the acting and writing makes it hard as a viewer to connect.  But their wedding worked, and the earnest goodbyes tugged at my heartstrings.

Plus, as with such occasions, we usually see old friends and familiar faces. Having Robert Scorpio appear not only fulfills a sense of family but affirms the show needs its veteran cast members to round out the show.

I can’t say where the show will lead on from here, but this bright spot restores a little faith that after all these decades GH can be still be a comforting old friend.

Countdown to Chvrches

It’s on! June 4th, House of Blues, Boston. First major concert since I saw Arcade Fire.

Hope this goes better then my failed Sufjan Stevens concert. It was a rough time and I was in a rough place mentally. During the days leading in I suffered from my first batch of anxiety attacks. But a lot has changed in a year - counselling, medications - and it’s a fresh opportunity.

Lauren Mayberry, Chvrches’ lead singer, seems like a woman who has battled her share of storms and came through affirmed in who she is. That’s a life goal for me. She’s definitely someone to aspire to.
People Are So, So Pissed About the How I Met Your Mother Finale

A divorce. A maternal death. An array of terrible wigs. All of these tragedies and more capped off the nine-year-run of one of the most beloved sitcoms in recent memory. And many. People. Are. Pissed.

This nailed it on almost all accounts for me, with some notable exceptions. To be fair, there’s a gross oversimplification of Ted and Robin’s relationship in almost every negative review of the finale. He wasn’t simply trying to ‘score’ with Robin some eight seasons ago any more than he was in the last minutes of the series finale.

And I’ll also say to everyone shouting “this was the worst television finale ever”! You clearly have not watched the Gossip Girl finale or Rosanne finale or well you get the idea. It was disheartening in a lot of ways, but not even close to being the worst finale.

The blue french horn was as much a part of the fabric of the series as the yellow umbrella. Does that mean the show should have ended the way it did, or even transpired in such a way over the 40 minutes it had, no. But character regression aside, it’s not completely illogical to have Ted holding the blue french horn in the closing moments of the series.

I will however also say to those telling the viewing public that we should just get over it are wrong! I have every right to be dissatisfied with a finale of a series I spent nine seasons investing in. I’m not owed a certain ending or for certain pairings to end up together (that’s at the creative discretion of the writers), but I believe all viewers are owed something that makes sense in terms of narrative; that is supported by existing character development and adheres to the basic premise of the series. For me the show failed on all three of those.

2013 Year in Review - Favorite Albums (Notable Mentions and Mixed Feelings)

Other Notable Mentions

The Next Day and The Next Day Extra EP, David Bowie

Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions, Franz Ferdinand

Paradise Valley, John Mayer

I Am Mountain, Gungor

English Electric, OMD [Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark]

Zion, Hillsong United

Electric, Pet Shop Boys

Shaking the Habitual, The Knife

I Was an Eagle, Laura Marling

The Beast In Its Tracks, Josh Ritter

Mixed Feelings

Days are Gone, Haim

Lost Sirens EP, New Order

Random Access Memories, Daft Punk

AM, Arctic Monkeys