Friday, February 22, 2008

Sure. Desmond is Roland Deschain. Whatever you want. Calm down with the crazy.

My methods for watching TV have gotten very strange over the past two years. I don't have an antenna or cable, so I watch things via Netflix and through network websites. Lately, my strategy seems to be to discover a series, then read everything I can about it, then move on, which is actually how I enjoy a lot of what I read as well, as far as fiction goes.

I'm a sucker for interesting mythologies and trying to learn the intricacies therein. Which is why "I'll watch an episode of this show I've never watched that's been around for decades because Simon Pegg's involved in it" turned into watching the three newer Doctor Who series, as well as trying to work my way through the older stories and listening to Doctor Who themed podcasts.

Useful and helpful in the case of zombies or in police dramas. Not so much if you're dealing with the Mighty Jagrafess of the Holy Hadrojassic Maxarodenfoe. Or if you're trying to find a garage but can't find someone who speaks English.

I like understanding how the rules fit together in science fiction, which is the appeal of a lot of it for a lot of people. It strikes me as kind of funny that you can ignore reality enough to allow certain basic things, but then find people arguing over much more trivial issues and whether they make sense within the mythology. There's a certain demand for the subject to take itself seriously enough to stick to a consistent mythology while being fantastical. And so you have controversies over whether Douglas Adams having Romana regenerate several times in a row is ok, and detailed descriptions of different kinds of fictional laser sword fighting.

On that note, I've been watching Lost recently. I started watching it on DVD a while ago, but am actually caught up now, and it's enjoyable. There are high points and low, and nothing makes sense, but it's interesting me to learn what people think about the mythology of the series, which the producers intentionally make incredibly tough to decipher ahead of time. As a result, I've subscribed to the podcast and have been reading through theories people have posted online as to what's happening in the overall plot and what the answers to some of the questions will be. I recommend subscribing to the podcast and reading through some of this for one reason, even if you're not a fan of the show.

And that's because some (and I do mean some and not all, because there are a lot of people, like myself, who enjoy it as entertainment and are sane and normal) but some who are batshit insane. And reading and listening to the opinions of people who are out of the goddamn minds is entertaining to me.

Somehow, I feel like it would have been bad to somehow not include the one fictional character I'm aware of who has ostensibly written a blog post detailing his opinions on the matter. Does it highlight the fact that I'm like three years late to the relatively obvious post about how fans of science fiction are nutballs? Sure. But who asked you?

So you get to hear people speculate about, as in the last podcast, whether the number of times Hurley says "Dude" per episode means anything, whether recently introduced characters are from the present, while the story is set in late 2004, whether everyone's related to everyone else and whether the show will eventually just rip off the entirety of the plot of the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. So, yeah. Go read some of what's written about what is at the end of the day a popular, prime-time sci-fi drama, then sit back and be amazed at the crazy speculation that pops up when people are left to their own devices.

And, much the same as I feel about the crazy guy screaming half-remembered bits of scripture into a megaphone outside of Marshall Field's and trying to convince everyone that the most vital issue facing anyone is who is sleeping with whom, if that "Pirates of the Caribbean" thing turns out to be the correct answer, I just give up. Learning how to apply Occam's Razor is all I'm suggesting.

I should note that I do also enjoy listening to the Lost podcast because I'm a sucker for commentary by writers and directors, and it's useful for that. And for reminding me of really trivial things, like where the hell I know Tom from, specifically as a villain on a show from a while ago which I found and watched (via Netflix), The Adventures of Brisco County Jr..

I'll take basically any opportunity I can to bring Bruce Campbell into the discussion.

So yes. Go listen to the crazy. Have fun with that.

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