Saturday, October 18, 2008

Life etc.

I'm very cash-poor through the end of the month, so I've been spending a lot of time at home, watching shows on Hulu and listening to old radio on Internet Archive.

On Hulu, I've been watching Life, a fascinating cop drama. The set-up: cop falsely imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit is exonerated by DNA evidence after 12 years. He gets a 50 million dollar settlement from the LAPD and a job with the force as a detective. But he is not the same man he was. His years in prison left him damaged, and he coped by studying Zen philosophy. Now he solves crimes as a police detective while also investigating the mystery of who framed him.

It's a fascinating show, and Damian Lewis is excellent as Charlie Crews, the main character. Crews is constantly walking a fine line between brilliance and dementia, and he is very aware of his surroundings at all times, seeing things that others miss. He is fully in the moment, as it were.

A new show that just debuted is My Own Worst Enemy, starring Christian Slater as a normal suburban husband and father who discovers that he has a secret life as a government spy. The agency wipes out his memories after every mission, so while he is at home, he has no knowledge of his other life, no secrets to spill. Everything is perfect until the conditioning breaks down at the wrong time, and he suddenly becomes his civilian self in the middle of an assassination attempt.

The pilot was really entertaining, but the central gimmick could get really tired very quickly. So I'm intrigued to see where the show takes the premise.

The pre-season hype for Heroes basically said, "Heroes become villains and vilains become heroes." After five episodes, it's obvious that they're taking that literally. Sylar is on the road to rehabilitation, while Peter has become this season's central villain. The world is on the path to destruction thanks to Hiro's screw-ups, while the cute speedster thief he calls "Nemesis" has been shown in prophetic dream to become a hero working to save the world. Claire is trying to become a hard-ass hero while noble HRG is going even further over the deep end in "trying to protect this family" (and I will be very happy if I never have to hear him deliver that particular line again). Nathan has once again become a tool of the bad guys, and Suresh has turned into a bug-fuck crazy monster.

I don't think I like it.

But Chuck is cool.

On the old radio front, I've been listening to X Minus One, adaptaions of classic science-fiction stories from Galaxy Magazine in the 50's. And it just reminds me how trite some of those old stories could be. But it's fun listening anyway.

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