isaac and ishmael

so, watching the west wing over again has been interesting. it was on for a long time but it hasn't been on in a long time. this means i first watched some of these episodes 11 or 12 years ago. it feels like a lifetime. i remember how i came to watch the show - my father-in-law enjoyed the first season and thought i would too. then when i began working at the synagogue, all the women who worked there watched it. so, i started in order to have something to talk about over lunch. we all had our favorite characters - carol once said her partner understood that she would leave him in a second for tobey. june loved president bartlet. harriet loved cj. we all loved mrs. landingham. jm even watched and would join us in our discussions of the previous night's episode from time to time.

this week, when i began the third season, my heart sank. instead of picking up where the story left off, they began with an episode about muslim extremists and terrorism. it was written and filmed quickly. 9/11 had just happened and they wanted to do something. it was heartbreaking to watch, even now. its remarkable that when everyone was screaming for justice, this episode was a quiet exploration of how we'd gotten to this place.

the next day at work, the discussion of the show at lunch lasted at least two hours. on 9/11, we sat with a television in the library, quietly doing our work half heartedly, watching events unfold. rosh hashanah was a week away. we were now planning a community prayer service. work couldn't stop just because the world did. after that episode of the west wing, we were finally able to have the conversations we'd all needed to have before. 

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wednesday words*

*brought to you by the hours and hours of west wing i've watched. here's some of my favorite quotes so far:

"bring me the finest muffins and bagels in all the land."

"oh, I'm sorry, dear. Would you like a cookie?"

"i'm proud to report our country's stranger than it was a year ago?"

"once again you display an immaturity about vegetables that I think is not at all Presidential."

"the day-to-day experience of my life has changed in many ways since taking this job."

"you're not going to spoil my good time for me."
"oh, sir, I think we both know from experience that's not true."

"i can sign the President's name. I have his signature down pretty good."

"a long flight across the night. you know why late flights are good? because we cease to be earthbound and burdened with practicality. asking important questions. talking about the idea that nobody has thought about yet."

"i'm calling you Deputy Downer from now on."

"it'd be good. by day, they churn butter and worship according to their own beliefs, and by night they solve crimes."

"i've never found anything in my life remotely charming."

"i'd be perfectly happy never to say any of those words anywhere ever again."

"a thing the size of a garbage truck is gonna be in a two-thousand-mile-an-hour free fall and no one knows where it's gonna hit!"
"i'm rooting for Zurich. I've had it up to here with the Swiss."

"if politics bring out the worst in people, maybe people bring out the best."

"but listen, don't worry about all this right now. we got you covered. worry about school. worry about what you'll tell your parents when you break curfew. you're gonna meet guys. you're gonna meet girls. learn things, be good to each other. read the newspapers, go to the movies, go to a party, read a book. in the meantime, remember pluralism. you want to get these people? i mean, you really want to in and kill them where they live? keep accepting more than one idea. makes them absolutely crazy."

"what's next?"

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things i love tuesday

television, oh television. how i love you so! since i'm still working on the project i've been watching A LOT of television. i've watched all of the episodes of gossip girl that are available on netflix. i've watched some felicitiy, some british mysteries. i even watched the pilot episode of melrose place. oh good gravy, i love tv. 

my usual shows that i love to marathon include buffy, angel, wonderfalls, pushing daisies, veronica mars, gilmore girls, firefly... but lately i've been wanting to watch something "new" - at least to me. that was why i gave felicity a shot. it didn't do it for me. there are a few shows that shawn wants to watch too (breaking bad, the sopranos) and he's too busy to be hanging out, watching tv with me every day - even if being my cheerleader while i'm embroidering is a VERY IMPORTANTJOB. those will have to wait. 

i love british mysteries. i love mysteries like hart to hart and columbo. i love supernatural and horror-y sci-fi-y shows. i love family dramas when well written OR exceedingly trashy. medical shows tend to stress me out. i love small towny shows. i loved twin peaks. west wing remains one of my favorites. the wire was devastatingly good. i could go on but you get the idea - i LOVE TEEVEE. 

so, my question is this, what should i watch? what's the next teevee show that i'm going to love?

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things i love tuesday

i love television. i do. and as much i think most hollywood movies suck these days, we are living in a golden age of television. truly. there are countless shows worth watching and while some are better than others, the competition is fierce. that's why some truly extraordinary shows don't make it. there are too many shows competing for our attention. so people like me, people of the couch, people for who wii sports are the only sports, may have chosen any show other than friday night lights to watch. its is, after all, a show about high school football. i really didn't love high school. i definitely don't love football. so i watched other shows. and i read about friday night lights and how phenomenal it was, how it was constantly at risk of being cancelled, how it was tackling storylines never before seen on network television in thoughtful ways. i'll admit i was curious but didn't watch. its a show about high school football.

maybe i was high on texas after spending ten days there on the road trip, maybe i just decided that all these people who opinions i respect couldn't be wrong, maybe i just needed something new... i put it in my netflix queue at the end of may and off i went. i just finished watching the entire series this weekend. an entire series about high school football.

i watched the first episode and i knew i was in trouble. it looked different than anything i'd ever seen. natural light, shot on location. it looked beautiful, just like the texas i love. the actors playing the students were remarkable and these were teenage characters that didn't feel silly. matthew seracen broke my heart from the very first moment i saw him. i knew tim riggins was trouble and that i was going to love him anyway. i hated lyla, loved tyra and landry. coach and tami taylor are two of the best grown-up characters i've seen on tv - total grown ups through and through. their marriage is completely captivating and almost totally devoid of drama. they do what married couples do - navigate the world, together - and some days that's easier than others. its about one of the most solid marriages portrayed on television. i knew i was in trouble when i found myself choking back tears at the end of the first episode. the first episode of a show about football.

here's the thing, its so much for than football. i am going to sound insane here, totally like a girl who has drank the friday night lights kool-aid but its true. its about small town life in texas. its about relationships - starting them, ending them, sustaining them. it was about being human, making mistakes and the consequences. its about dreams and heartbreak. i'm not kidding. i am writing these words about a show ABOUT FOOTBALL. 

if you haven't watched it, do. if you get hooked, and i'm pretty sure you will, stick with it. the show made some mistakes but righted itself and only got better. true story. a show about football and i love it.

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the return of cupid

once upon a time, before veronica mars and entourage, there was a show called cupid. rob thomas created it. paula marshall and jeremy piven starred in it. it was filmed in chicago. it was snappy. it was enchanting. it only lasted 15 episodes and abc cancelled it. it BROKE my heart. it was near the beginning of my long,  complicated and ongoing relationship with television.
i'm telling you this because although the new version is entertaining its missing the magic of the original. its not bad. its still rob thomas. bobby cannavale and sarah paulson are charming. ok, so its not set in chicago any more but that's no big - i see chicago everyday. its just missing some of the specialness of the original.

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the one where i let my geek flag fly

about a month or so ago i started to re-watch buffy. i no longer feel compelled to watch each and every episode of every season. but today i've been watching season 7, episode after episode. shawn's been joining me for an episode here, an episode there and while we were eating dinner he said, "so season 3 is your favorite right? and season 4 is your least favorite. how do the others rate?

after much deliberation: 3, 6, 7, 2, 1, 5, 4

but one geeky question led to more geeky questions in my fan girl brain. is my ranking correct? if i had to go by the number of episodes per season i now watch when rewatching would the ranking be the same?

here it goes...

season one: welcome to the hellmouth, witch, the pack, angel, the puppet show, out of mind, out of sight and prophecy girl (7 episodes)

season two: school hard, halloween, lie to me, the dark age, what's my line part 1 & 2, surprise, innocence, phases, bewitched, bothered & bewildered, passion and becoming part 1 & 2 (13 episodes)

season three: dead man's party, faith, hope & trick, beauty & the beasts, homecoming, band candy, revelations, the wish, amends, gingerbread, the zeppo, bad girls, consequences, doppelgangland, enemies, earshot, choices, the prom and  graduation day part 1 & 2  (20 episodes)

season four: living conditions, fear itself, beer bad, pangs, something blue, hush, a new man and new moon rising (8 episodes)

season five: buffy vs. dracula, the replacement, family, fool for love, triangle, checkpoint, the body, forever,  intervention, the weight of the world and the gift (11 episodes)

season six: bargaining part 1 & 2, flooded, life serial, all the way, once more with feeling, tabula rasa, smashed, wrecked, gone, doublemeat palace, hell's bells, normal again, entropy, seeing red, villians, two to go and grave (18 episodes)

season seven: beneath you, same time, same place, help, selfless, him, conversations with dead people, potential, the killer in me, first date, get it done, storyteller, lies my parents told me, dirty girls, empty places, touched, end of days and chosen (17 episodes)

so, 3, 6, 7, 2, 5, 1, 4 . interesting. i think 5 and 1 swtiched only because season 1 is short. buffy was, after all, a midseason replacement.

my favorite episodes by season?

season one: welcome to the hellmouth - the pilot. its funny and it does its job of introducing everyone. plus, buffy explains it all pretty succinctly here:

giles: into every generation, a slayer is born. one girl in all the world, a choosen one. one born with the...
giles & buffy: ...the strength and skill to hunt the vampires...
buffy: stop the spread of their evil blah blah. i've heard it, okay?

season two: becoming part 2 - i had to actually stop watching buffy for a few seasons after this was originally aired so deep was my heartbreak. she <sob> has to <sob> kill<sob> angel<gasp>.

season three: the prom - class protector! the emotional maturity of a blueberry scone! that dreamy version of wild horses! xander and the dress! anya, oh anya! and don't forget the hellhounds!

season four: hush - is this everyone's favorite? it must be. the gentlemen are the creepiest ever.  and the scene in the auditorium where giles is drawing out their plan? Hi-larious. and that blood curdling scream at the end? for real, one of my favorite hours of television.

season five: buffy vs. dracula - the thrall! the master(bator)! the dracubabes! and the introduction of dawn in the most puzzling episode cliffhanger, ever. [note: a close second is the body. although i could never call it my favorite it is one of the best hours of television ever. it deals with real human death in the most realistic and painful way. it kills me everytime.]

season six: once more with feeling - i could gush. i won't. but i could. and it would be more annoying than this whole post.

season seven: chosen - a really great end. and that perfect smile on buffy's face at the very end just makes me happy.

i now return you to the regularly scheduled, and much less geeky, blog. this episode was brought to you in part by imdb.

but, if you've never seen buffy go now, put it in your netflix queue, get it from the library, target usually has it cheap... just do it though. seriously!

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why joss rocks

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fall tv is helping my art.

so, one of my fellow sacred art artists asked me to participate in a show at morpho gallery. i've had the toughest time getting becoming inspired. i'm stressed out (work). sad (its been almost a year since g-pa died). overwhelmed by the work i need to get done. and really just wanting to hang out with shawn and watch dreams.

finally i seemed to get into the groove. how i managed to get this done while watching studio 60, i'll never know. (and damn did that show ROCK!)


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i love fall (tv)

i couldn't wait to get home to my fall tv preview so i bought it in the airport. read about it here - the new blog i'm sharing with shannon, phil, shawn & possibly hollis.

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as seen on tv

in the midst of all this artwork, i've managed to start a new blog. it will be devoted exclusively to tv. i know there are those who read my blog and find my television obession amusing and my life less than charming. i know there are those that read my blog and find me fascinating but my television musings unnecessary. now, there's a place for both types of people. if you like all of me, just the way i am, bookmark them both.

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