Listurday! 04/12/14

I want to share the links that I have found interesting over the past week. Enjoy.

This video is just to make you happy.  A 17 year old records the Abbey Road B-Side.  So great!

Sports Night, Doctor Who, Life. Oh The Joys of Netflix Streaming

I love Netflix Streaming.  I know they don’t have a ton of great current movies on there but they have a treasure trove of great television shows.

It was through Netflix that I discovered the awesomeness that is Doctor Who.  It was through Netflix that my wife and I got all caught up on Friday Night Lights, just in time to finish the series with everyone else.  Netflix introduced us to Downton Abbey, where we watched the entire first season in 3 days.  So many great television shows are available that even if I still subscribed to cable I would probably use Netflix just as much.

My most recent show du jour is Sports Night.  West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin perfected the hall way walk and talk on Sports Night and made a show about the people who make sports news without getting bogged down in sports talk every episode.  Just like the West Wing did with politics, Sports Night takes the issues around sports and makes them the background for the personal relationships and drama of the primary characters.  Brilliant.

This show also walked a fine line between drama and comedy.  In the beginning it was clear that they were trying to make a comedy with a studio audience and everything.  The show evolved into more of a drama.  And what’s even more remarkable, each episode is only 22 minutes.  A 22 minute drama, that’s unheard of.  But it so works.

Unfortunately the show only had 2 seasons and it’s 14 years old, but it was a great show that I never would have watched if it wasn’t for Netflix Streaming.

So if you are looking for something to watch this summer, I would recommend Sports Night.  If you like cop shows, Life is great, and if you like fun Sci-Fi, then check out Doctor Who!


I Actually like the Star Wars Prequels

I don’t know about you but the farther I get from the original release of Star Wars eps. I, II, III the more I appreciate them.  The acting is not great, and Jar-Jar Binks is still a painful experience, but the story arc is still good.

Yes I do believe that eps IV, V, & VI stand-alone and they are amazing.  In the original trilogy Luke Skywalker is the hero, Han gets the girl, and the Rebellion defeats the evil Empire.  It’s great.

What George Lucas was trying to do with the prequels is important though.  I think he was trying to show us why Luke matters so much.  Using Anakin Skywalker’s journey from an innocent and gifted child, to an accomplished yet troubled hero, to a man who is willing to do anything to save the woman he loves and ultimately the person who destroyed the Jedis and fell to the Dark Side, George Lucas gave us a character who is troubled and conflicted.  Darth Vader is no longer just the face of evil.  He’s a person who tried to do what he thought was right and he was ultimately decieved.

Star Wars then becomes about the redemption of Anakin Skywalker.  Luke’s mission is not about overthrowing the empire it is about rescuing his father from darkness.  In the process the Emperor is defeated but in the process Luke saves his father.  I find the saga of Anakin Skywalker to be compelling.  I find Luke’s journey to be very interesting.  And I wonder how long we should wait until we reboot eps. I, II, & III and see if we can do it right.  that or just edit out Jar-Jar and replace the actors for Anakin.

Dear Writers of The Office

Dear Writers of The Office,

First of all, I love The Office.  I do however feel like it is reaching the time when we have to say good bye.  I know that as long as this program lives it will be making NBC and all involved a lot of money.  That fact does not justify leading the show into it’s twilight years and sucking every last bit of life out of it.  I suggest that we make this year the last year of the beloved program.  Let’s begin to set in motion a plan for how The Office should pass into syndication eternity with dignity.

Having said all of that may I propose a tidy little way to wrap things up?  I’m going to do so anyway.  The premise of my suggestion is nothing new, but there are new layers to the whole thing.

First, the whole thing was a dream.  Here’s where things get interesting.  The whole thing is Creed’s Dream.  But not Creed as we know him today.  A younger Creed, played by Ryan (B.J. Novak).  This could be revealed when he wakes up and the person trying to wake him up keeps calling him Creed.  This makes the entire narrative of The Office a kind of warning for Ryan as he may turn into (old) Creed someday.

Second, the person trying to wake him up is James Spader, who is his father in the waking world.  That could explain why he appears so late in the dream.

Third, Ryan (Creed) is waking up on his first day of business school.

Fourth, Ryan’s first business school professor is none other than Michael Scott played by Steve Carrell.

Tight shot on Ryans bewildered face. Then Credits.

You’re welcome NBC.

Super Heroes in Seattle

As somebody who grew up reading comic books and still enjoys a good graphic novel today.  I remember asking myself as a young man, what would it take to actually become a crime fighting vigilante.  I realized early on (around 4th grade baseball when I really sucked and didn’t get a hit all season) that I would never have the skills required to roam the streets fighting crime and dispensing immediate justice on the hordes of villians that terrorized my quaint Kirkland neighborhood.

Even though my dreams were crushed early that did not mean that super heroes would not emerge some day, some where.  And now they have.  In Seattle of all places.  The video above recounts an event where Phoenix Jones stopped a car burglarly in process.  This happened in Lynnwood.  That’s where I live.  I will sleep better knowing that this guy is out there.  His arsenal is not as impressive as Batman’s but even Bruce Wayne had to start some where.

Now . . . about those super powers he’s lacking.  I will immediately begin research on radioactive bugs . . .