TV Vegetable – 14 March 2012 – adventures from the edge of the couch

Well, not that I’m running out of things to talk about on the blog here, I’m not, but I wanted to add another reoccurring feature so that throughout a week, there are a mix of reoccurring features, and completely new stuff. I’m not tying most of it down to a particular day but this one may occur most weeks, and mostly on a wednesday. Or maybe not. It’s just evolution of the blog.

TV vegetable is just a light hearted, alternative or slightly irrelevant look at some of the TV I’ve been consuming over the past week. It probably reviews bits and pieces from a few shows, likely some high quality HBO drama or something similar, and possibly some rubbish. I don’t watch too much TV so don’t expect it to cover everything, and I’ve no wish to be a tv reporter from the living room trenches, so don’t expect it to be too in depth either. Although it might on the odd occasion.

Hopefully my typing fingers will realise vegetable contains two of the letter “e”, not two of the letter “a”, and I won’t get annoyed with having to constantly change it with the spell checker. Anyway, here goes:

Oh yeah, if you’ve not seen the most recent episodes there will likely be spoilers, plus you probably need to have seen the said thing to know what I’m on about, otherwise, it might be a bit pointless for you.

The Walking Dead (AMC)

This weeks episode started with a funeral for the old bloke who’s name escapes me, and therefore illustrates that many of the cast do not get much enough time for us to know more about them, or empathise more with them. I’ll admit that in the previous episode he was featured more, if not from a point of view many of us could not agree with. He was representing the humanity of the world we live in now, not the world he now lived in. He got an unfortunate argument for why he was wrong when a zombie pulled his guts out. How do zombies know that pulling guts out is a good food source? I don’t know, maybe experience. Perhaps T-bone will get more screen time now. Oh yeah, this week he did. Also, why is Glen not trying to nob that brunette? Most people like Glen, we want it to work out for him. They’ve barely spoken in the last few episodes.

What the episode did feature more of this week, was the simmering tension with Rick and Shane. Shane tried to be a part of the group but again realised he would only be in disagreement with Rick, and would still want to nob Lori (plus look after the kids). I should have spotted this was going to end tonight after he had the conversation with Lori where she was a little more open with her feelings. This may have spurred Shane on to think he was right, and come up with a completely daft plan to get rid of Rick. Well he didn’t have the old fella alive anymore to moan in his ear, all the time, about what a terrible guy he was, so maybe he figured he would get away with it. The scene where Shane was going to shoot Rick, only for Rick to cleverly turn it around by knifing him in the guts, and providing a convenient entry point for the next passing zombie, was awesome. Great tension, I did wonder briefly if Rick was going to get it, or one of the others e.g. Glen or Daryl would come to his aid, but it finished the right way. But then hang on a minute, Shane immediately returned as a zombie without so much as a zombie scratch or bite (much like the fella he just killed). How is this possible? My theory is something to do with them drinking zombie contaminated water which means they carry the basis for zombie until they die and it is activated (assuming they still have a brainstem of course).

Still, great zombie makeup on Shane. I’m not that familiar with the graphic novel but I read somewhere that Shane did not survive past the quarry scenes. They needed more time to do this story on tv. Shane was also shot in the quarry by the boy. Possibly. On the other side of the coin, I can now see Andrew Lincoln as “Rick” rather than “Egg” from This Life. – Next week’s season finale looks like it will be a nail biter.

– My wife says: Why did Shane and the other guy come back to life without being bitten? Did he get bitten, was there a scratch?

– I say: How did the little kid learn to shoot so accurately without blowing his dad’s ear off. “Sorry dad, there goes your ear, let me try again”.

Luck (HBO)

Luck is one of those shows where little seems to happen for 50 minutes but it is entertaining anyway. It is also one of those shows where you don’t realise how good the acting is, it is just there. That is usually a sign of two things. 1) The acting is good, and natural, 2) The show inhabits a world that feels “real” so everything that happens seems credible. Luck is a strongly written show which has both of those. This weeks show prior to the race we saw, led me to comment that all the horses we watch seem to win. Then “our” horse pulled up lame. I’m not sure whether Escalante knew this might happen, and was therefore using the claim process to get rid of a duff horse or not. It wasn’t even clear when Marcus explained it in the hotel. Sometimes this show is like reading an academic text book which you need to learn, one where you need to read a passage several times to get it. Unfortunately here we can only read it once.

I also guessed that Dustin Hoffman’s accountant guy will probably not last the season. I was not expecting it to happen so soon, i.e. about 20 minutes later (assuming he is dead), but that’s what happened. Did Chester know this was likely so paying him a million a year was just an empty promise? Possibly. Michael Gambon was great, and scary as erm, Michael. The guy is fabulous with the right material. Check him out in the original Dennis Potter drama “The Singing Detective“, the classic BBC series, not the crappy film version starring Robert Downy junior. It’s a real classic piece of TV, and you’ll notice a huge influence on lots of different shows that followed. For guys, it contains one of the most wince inducing hospital rubdown scenes you will ever see.

Escalante also got a slight twist in the tale story. I was not sure what was going on with the Mexican guy dropping off his kid and why the doctor was babysitting him, but it was interesting that Escalante began to recognise his younger self and give him a chance. When he took the lad home and realised he was pretty much from the same place and beginnings, he realised he ought to (at least on the surface) give the lad a chance. It probably made it easier when he found out the doc was pregnant, at the end of the episode. Two episodes to go. Very good show.

– My wife says: I’ve still no idea what is going on.

– I say: I’ve no clue either but it’s kind of entertaining.

The Ultimate Fighter (FX)

This is my first time watching the Ultimate Fighter, needed due to my own recent addiction to UFC. I therefore don’t have any comparison to make with earlier seasons.

For the season opener, they needed to fit 16 fights into a two and a half hour show. All the fights were one five minute round with the winner progressing to the show proper, the loser being given a one way ticket home, and presumably never heard of again. Having to crowbar so many fights in meant that there were pre-recorded segments where each fighter was warming up. then a segment where he boasted he would win the whole thing, then straight to the ring, where the fighters were ready to, er, hit off. And we got to see how empty most of the boasts were. On the sidelines doing commentary but actually, merely making comments, were Dana White (UFC president), and the two team captains Dominick Cruz, and a favourite of mine, “the california kid” Uriah Faber. They sounded more like three guys having a conversation on their sofa rather than describing what was going on. Also the matches took place in a gym with no audience, so that was a little weird.

Highlights – Several quick submissions. A quick knockout (Erin Beach lost after Sam Sicilia popped him on the chin and knocked him out, in 8 seconds of the first round. All that training and he doesn’t get through 10 seconds).  Something we shall refer to as the “northbound toe”. One fighter broke his toe to the extent that it was pointing up towards his head. He had a quick look, then sucked it up and carried on. Sadly with his mobility limited he lost the fight.

Lowlights – An almost unintelligible English guy (from Liverpool) prompted subtitles for his video short. He lost therefore saving the guys the need to do this for the rest of the season. Also the Irish lad both lost, so UK / Ireland fighters were not up to much this year. No Michael Bisping this time round.

– My wife says: I don’t like fighting, but I keep watching it anyway. Apart from when I’m falling asleep watching it.

– I say: I never watched this prior to moving to America. Now your American tv has desensitised me to the brutality of the violence. That and I now like seeing someone being bashed around, whilst admiring the technique used in the floor encounters.

tv dinner (the rest)

Eastbound and Down – “Me and Shane used to argue about Top Gun, and which one was Goose, which one was Tom Cruise… I guess we now know who is goose as Shane’s dead”. Kenny is still the greatest ars*hole of them all whilst simultaneously being the funniest. And I don’t even like Baseball. The boom box at the funeral was classic. Stevie was also brilliant especially watching the porn video “Whatever they do next, we do, ok?” – You have to see it for what that means – classic.

– My wife says: Do we have to watch this?

– I say: Yes we do, It’s Kenny f***in Powers (without the swearing in the middle).

Hoarders – Disappointingly there was no toilet turd mountain this week. There was a commercial for a women who is addicted to drinking here own urine. Nice. Nothing more to say.

– My Wife says: Hoarders is the greatest.

– I say: You can watch hoarders, I’m reading a book.

Til next time, enjoy!

Lexicon word of the day: mettlesome.

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5 comments on “TV Vegetable – 14 March 2012 – adventures from the edge of the couch

  1. L.S. Engler says:

    Man, I don’t watch any of these shows. But everyone insists I have to watch The Walking Dead and I did go through a big Hoarders phase with Netflix. The conversation usually went like this:

    Roommate: How can you watch that? I just makes me feel like, oh god, I’m a hoarder, I haven’t cleaned my room in ages.

    Me: See? It just makes me think, ‘My room doesn’t look like that yet. I’m good. I feel so much better about myself now.’

  2. mrbrainsplat says:

    My wife is obsessed with watching Hoarders, probably for that it’s so bad that I must watch experience. I actually feel bad for some of them because they’ve gone that way from losing a child or some other horrific experience. But then I also think, if I was the husband I would have put my foot down a long time ago. You know, marriage, two way thing, some things should not be acceptable to either of us, etc.

    Isn’t season 1 of walking dead on netflix? I wasn’t sure about watching it at first but it’s quite addictive and mostly well put together. – I love the serious drama HBO / Showtime type stuff, e.g. Sopranos, The Wire, 6 Feet Under, Mad Men, Game of Thrones and so on.

  3. Eric Alagan says:

    That image of the Walking Dead – gross. Glad I was not having a meal.

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