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Inspiration?

I came across a blog post written by a woman who has also cut the cord in her household. She wrote about how this season of TV has been disappointing for her and her husband because no good SciFi show has grabbed their attention. She asks where the “Battlestar Galactica” and the “Firefly” type shows are. You know, shows that take you into space, or through time. One answer to the question, she posits, is that the downward spiral of good SciFi shows began when the SciFi channel became SyFy. I’m definitely inclined to agree, but I think there’s more to it.

There’s a similar issue in publishing right now. Publishing trends are running more towards horror and fantasy; stories that focus more on hard times and tough situations. These stories are reflecting what we as a society are feeling at the current time. Normally SciFi has some sort of feeling of hope to it. There is the thrill of exploration and discovery not to mention action and adventure. I don’t think we’re really looking for that as much as we may need the pick-me-up.

Don’t ask me why we choose to come home and watch more people suffer after worrying all day about our own situations. We just do.

So there’s no good SciFi on TV right now. But were there any other good shows to premier this year? I feel like I paid more attention to new shows coming out this year than I have in years past possibly because I want to make sure I don’t miss anything, and to make sure I have options since I can’t channel surf. But I’m also paying more attention since I’ve started this blog. So when premier season started up I wanted to watch as many new shows as I could. So far we’ve stuck with:

Up All Night
Terra Nova
Once Upon A Time
Grimm
Revenge (this is just a me show. My husband isn’t into the “soapy” type shows)

That’s not a bad list. A bunch of shows have gotten the chopping block including “Charlie’s Angels”, “Playboy Club”, and “Free Agents.” It’s all a ratings game anyway, so I guess catch what you can while you can.

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“Any sign’ll do” : Proof that God abandons in a post-apocalyptic world?

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Season 2 ep 1

Sunday night (although Monday night for me because I watch it via Amazon’s digital download) was the second season premier of AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” The gang has left the CDC and is on the road again.I could summarize the plot (which I feel was slightly lacking. Too much time was spent looking for Sophia) and who is angry with who (I could care less about Shane at this point), but the point in the narrative that struck a cord with both my husband and I came when Rick went back into the zombie church (as I call it) to have a moment with Jesus.My husband was bothered because he thinks this is out of Rick’s character both in the comic series and in the show. Rick is a pragmatist. He sees the world as a set of problems and solutions. It’s not that he couldn’t have a spiritual side, but more like he wouldn’t expect the guidance he needs to come from something so far removed from the situation. After all, this is a man who took charge of a situation (and continues to do so) and chose to go to a place where he thought he could get answers to what the hell was going on (the CDC). He’s never looked to God or Jesus for answers before, he’s looked to the men and women around him to help formulate his plans.

But, the writers (sans, Frank Darabont now) have chosen to have Rick take a moment to bow down before another man that died and rose up from the dead (*cough*) to ask for a sign. As he exits the church Shane asks if he got what he needed. Rick replies, “we’ll see.”

Shortly there after his son is shot. Cut to Rick’s reaction. Then cut to black.

If this is the sign Rick asked for it sure is a shitty one. If it’s a sign of anything, I’d argue that it’s a sign that God abandons in the zombie apocalypse. After all, what more of a sign would you need when the dead start to rise up that there is no god? The bible says something about the dead returning to their bodies when Jesus returns, but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t look anything like bicycle girl or the zombie that attacked Andrea in the trailer.

One thing that “The Walking Dead” does really well as a TV show (I can’t speak for the graphic novel as I haven’t read it) is that it gives a great sense of isolation. In fact, this season started out reminding us that there is a man out there all alone. Maybe he’s found other survivors. Maybe he’s dead or turned. Maybe not. And this group of survivors have each other, but only just. It’s hard to believe there is a higher being out there in a world as empty and dire as this one.

Besides the obvious appeal of Walking Dead, the underlying appeal is that it says something very real about our current state of existence. A sort of mirror is being held up to us. A lot of us do live in a state of lost hope. Look to your nearest city and you’ll see the 99% that feel something has been taken away from them. I like that about this show; that not only does it take place in almost a parallel world but that it is also making a philosophical statement about the one we currently live in. All good SciFi/ Fantasy usually does.

Looking for a good SciFi flick?

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I remember “The Adjustment Bureau” coming out. I just don’t remember much promotion for it. I don’t remember anyone saying anything noteworthy about it. No one recommended it to me. I don’t remember reading any blog posts about it. Part of the problem is that SciFi isn’t that hot right now. People are more attracted to Fantasy/Horror. The same is true across all mediums right now. As a Librarian I’m seeing the trend in books as well.And as a Librarian I really should remember to pimp my own profession a little bit now and then. I talk about Hulu and Netflix and Amazon all the time, but this weekend my husband brought home two great movies from his own library (it’s great having two Librarians from two different library systems in the house. We get great selection).

On Sunday (aka. the day when we’ve reached the end of all our required watching. The Hulu queue is empty and we’ve watched whatever has come in the mail from Netflix) we watched “The Adjustment Bureau” and “Blindness.” Both are SciFi and both will blow. your. mind.

“The Adjustment Bureau” is the most recent film and it stars Matt Damon and Emily Blunt plus that guy from Mad Men (no not that guy, that other guy. That less famous guy). It’s based on a Philip K. Dick short story. But unlike “Minority Report” or “Blade Runner” I really liked this movie. Also unlike those other films, it ended on and upbeat note. I won’t spoil it for you though. However, like “Minority Report” and “Blade Runner” there is a sense of urgency and danger. There’s also a lot of running. It’s to be expected. The cinematography is amazing. Seriously, kudos to the film editors. They did outstanding work. And I know there are a few world class actors in this movie, but Mat Damon sometimes gets on my nerves. This time he did a great job. The acting by everyone is really well done.Is everything just fate? Or do we make our own?

“Blindness” is from 2008 and my husband had seen it before and felt it was worth another viewing for him and worth introducing it to me. It stars Mark Ruffalo, Julianne Moore, and Danny Glover. The basic premise is a contagion spreads throughout a city causing “white blindness.” It’s sudden and it spreads quickly. The first infected people are put into quarantine. Mark Ruffalo plays an eye doctor and Julianne Moore is his wife who pretends to have the blindness in order to go into quarantine with him. She then ends up leading all of the blind people around; taking care of them and looking after them. This ends up being harder than it sounds. The situation disintegrates into a post-apocalyptic like scene with people acting accordingly. It gets grisly and uncomfortable to watch. It really makes you think about human nature.This movie has a lot of quiet moments coupled with brutality which in turn is coupled with introspection. Nothing like a good SciFi scenario to make you examine human nature, right?