Mad Men vs Life Unexpected

I started formulating a post mid week called “Mad Men vs Life Unexpected” and had grand plans to do it justice on Friday, my day off. Sadly, I was derailed by computer issues. (Various unexplained errors preventing Internet Explorer and Firefox from starting up) After visiting a crazy allergist in mid town yesterday, I spent three hours in the office (on my day off!) with my IT guy trying to remedy the situation. In the end, he installed Google Chrome to help me limp along until my new super small laptop arrives. I ordered the “highly portable” laptop so I can stop lugging 6lbs around NYC with either my embarrassing back pack or my even more embarrassing rolling old lady computer bag. (sidenote: already scoping out new shoulder bags to celebrate my new work commute style makeover)

I have digressed. I am now traveling on an Amtrak train to visit my brother upstate and thought I might experiment with crafting a post from my iPhone using the WordPress app.

So what was I going to say about Mad Men and Life Unexpected? Earlier this week, I watched two episodes of Mad Men and the season premiere of Life Unexpected. The differences between the two are stunning. Every episode of Mad Men is like a movie. I don’t want to miss minute and I am fully engaged in the show. These two back to back episodes were beautiful. Watching Peggy and Don hang out at work to avoid their personal lives (boy can I relate to that) and seeing Don hit his all time low with vomit on his shirt asking for another drink. I love their relationship and am thrilled they did not even dabble in the idea of them hooking up. She is his best friend and I hope he knows it.

The following week we see Don shaping up and thank god, because I almost felt hungover myself watching the previous episode. I am sure the swimming had some symbolic association with a baptism/rebirth. He has downgraded to beer (cool refreshing bud) with minor slips to the brown stuff. He finally managed to get a real respectable date with an age appropriate smart woman who he could potentially have a real relationship with (which reminds me of the woman from an earlier season I wish he ended up with, the one who ran the department stores. She reminded me of Dagny Taggert. Why hasn’t he called her?) Betty is a mess. I feel so bad for her because no one really knows how to help her. It appears as though everyone was less self actualized in the 60’s, but this is a TV show centered around character flaws, and people are just as much of a mess today, they just wait until after work to start drinking.

I made the mistake of immediately following “Don’s rebirth” episode with the season premier of Life Unexpected. I loved this show last year, but after the first episode of this season, I have no idea why. The issues are the same. The characters seem one dimensional. Surprise! Irresponsible Bayze’s bar burned down after a one night stand! Kate’s voice is grating. I am bored with Lux’s hats (she needs a new look) and this relationship with her teacher is ridiculous. Seriously, how could you spend an entire evening with a 16 year old and have her maturity level not give her away. She is unusually mature and wise (because she has writers that are older than 16) but I am not buying it. And I am supposed to all of a sudden believe that Ryan is anything less than a perfect guy just so we can leave the door open for Bayze and Kate to get together? All very contrived. The show’s premise really had no where to go and I predict this will be the last season for Life Unexpected.

So those are my rambling thoughts less the hour of obsessive editing and searching for illustrative photos. ( Blogging is very time consuming!) please excuse any errors. There is only so much I can do from my phone.  (UPDATE: I later obsessively added photos.  )

Tomorrow, I plan to let you in on what I am most looking forward to during the big premiere week!!!

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The Dippy Bird Makes an Appearance

I had a busy week at work and no time to formulate a good blog post.   Reality shows were about all I could handle after my long work days, except the one night when I found myself choosing to watch an old episode of Medium after a few glasses of wine.  The episode from last season where she dreams about the pig was fascinating with a few drinks under my belt.  Anyway, last night, I was recovering from my hangover and a random event occurred that tied my real life to television (happens to me all the time, actually).

A while back, in a meeting,  I noticed the profile of a colleague that looked kind of like this:

I thought to myself, who does he remind me of?  Woody Woodpecker came to mind, but I knew that was not quite it.  Then I remembered this toy my dad used to have on his desk.  A bird with  hat that used to teeter over and dip its beak in to a glass of water.  That was it!  This guy reminded me of the Dippy Bird!!!  This realization was too weird to share with my newish work friends and no one outside of work knows the work guy (and most are too young to remember the dippy bird),  so I have been living with this in silence, until now.  Last night, I was catching up on Mad Men and THERE IS WAS!!!  THE DIPPY BIRD ON MAD MEN!!!  I was so excited.  Here it is?  See the resemblance?

I wish I could post a picture of the real guy…

The 10 Hours of TV/Week Plan

I must admit, I am starting my “10 hours of TV a week plan” on an easy week.  SYTYCD and the Bachelorette just ended.  (Guilty pleasures that suck up a lot of TV time.)  The fall TV season has not started yet so things are pretty quiet on the TV front for my kick-off.  Here are the rules:

  1. I am allotted 10 hours of dedicated TV watching time per week. This is 10 hours in actual time which means about 13 hours of scheduled programming.  (fast forwarding through commercials of course)  Dedicated TV time is time when I am mostly focused on the TV and it is not just on in the background while I am doing something else.
  2. DVD TV shows  DO count towards the 10 hour budget. Shoes on Hulu (which I rarely use) would also count towards the budget.
  3. Weeks start on Sunday. Unlike my childhood (Love Boat, Fantasy Island, BJ and the Bear, etc) there is nothing worth watch on Saturday.  So in my world, the TV week starts on Sunday.
  4. I get bonus points for ONLY turning the TV on for my dedicated TV watching time. I did it this weekend and it really helps quiet the mind (I suck at meditating so this was as close as I have gotten..silence).  Right now the bonus is just a HUGE sense of accomplishment and a quieter mind.  Perhaps I should come up with a real reward for myself…..
  5. TV watching at the gym or in a bar does not count. These are clearly social and health related activities where TV is totally allowed.

Until I get bored of it, I will post my selected “13 hours of scheduled programming”  in the cool text widget on the sidebar.  Notice that this week I am catching up on some stuff I am behind on AND I am going to try to squeeze in Dexter Season 4 (just released on DVD) before the Fall TV season starts.  I should qualify that I don’t have Showtime (in an attempt to minimize my TV watching..hah!)  so I am behind on Dexter, Weeds, and Californication.  All great shows that I hope to catch up on eventually.

Tales of a Recovering TVaholic

I love television and I watch a lot of it. Why is this a problem, you ask? Because I am not living up to my potential as a human being and as long as I am planted on the couch watching Big Brother and Mad Men, I won’t. It would be nice to have a relationship like Tami and Coach Taylor’s instead of just watching theirs. And what am I left with when my friends on the Island flash sideways and leave me? I have a lot to give the world. The Real Housewives of New Jersey do not need my Nielsen vote.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t plan on completely cutting television out of my life. That would be crazy.  I love it too much.  My goal is to cut back to 10 hours a week and spend more time on other things like interacting with other human beings, learning cool new stuff, and giving back to the universe. This may still seem like a lot of TV for some, but when you have watched every episode of every season of as many shows as I have, this is quite a feat. I need to keep tabs on Sookie Stackhouse and am quite curious to see how Rubicon unfolds, but I also really want to read the “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and save the world.

Why am I blogging about all of this? I am hoping that if I share my television reduction plan with all of you, it might help me stick to it.  And I have this theory that if I am committed to blogging about my life, maybe it will inspire me to make my life more interesting.  I would also love to share my thoughts on the shows that stay in the rotation (because let’s not forget, I do love television), and on life in general. And of course, it wouldn’t be a blog if I was not curious to hear your thoughts on my thoughts, so bring it on….

PS: I have already achieved my goal of not turning the TV on at all today by spending my Saturday night learning how to blog. The momentum is building.  Can you feel it?