Archive for the 'Shows' Category

13
Aug
09

How I would end Monk.

I don’t watch Monk. Not ever. I’ve seen a total of maybe an entire two episodes in bits and pieces.  So you’re probably thinking “Who the hell do you think you are, comin in here all grandiose and magnificent swaggerin’ about like you know who Adrian Monk is. I’ve been watching him since he was on Wings!” Well let me tell you something my friend, I know enough to write gripping television. I’ve learned from the commercials and the small amount I’ve seen to come up with an episode even I could enjoy. I like to call it: “Mr. Monk and the heart of darkness.”

So from what I’ve gathered, Monk for these 7 seasons has been a obsessive compulsive detective with an “assistant” who plays the straightface to his oddball antics that often lead to humor and clever solving of mysteries. I’ve also learned that Monk had a wife and she was murdered by someone whom Monk’s never been able to catch…his only failure. Apparently her name was Trudy and she died in a carbomb…a friggin carbomb? Okay…

monk

INT. MONK’S HOUSE

ADRIAN MONK is sitting straight up in a suit watching a home video. It’s very late at night. We can only see his face from the perspective of the television. The television is watching him. The colors change but his eyes never blink. We can hear the faint sound of a woman laughing.

Monk:

Trudy…

The screen goes black. We come back to MONK standing his back to us now, a brazen siloutte against the white fuzzy snow of his television. Monk takes a deep breath, then two deliberate steps. He pauses turns towards the couch and wipes the wrinkles out of the seat cushion. He continues into the kitchen.

INSERT: A closeup of Monks feet as they touch the porcelain kitchen floor.

Monk takes a glass from his cabinet and begins to pour some water. His hand shakes violently. The glass slips from his grasp. It crashes into the ground. Elgar’s “The Enigma Variations” beings to play. Monk looks down at the broken glass and whispers

Monk

Trudy……..

Monk violently slams his fist into the counter, turns abruptly and throws a stool into the glass cupboard. It shatters and the stool breaks. He kicks over another stool but loses his balance and collapses wheezing on the glass covered floor.

Fade scene.

INT. MONK’S HOUSE

NATALIE TEEGER lets herself in when no one answers the door. The camera follows her through the house until she arrives in the kitchen to find Monk on the floor covered in minor cuts.

Natalie

Oh Mr. Monk.

Monk opens his eyes.

Monk

I have to clean this up

Natalie

No Mr. Monk, please you must see your doctor.

Monk

My doctor is dead Natalie.

Monk stands up and goes to the closet to grab a broom. He’s sweeping as Natalie talks.

Natalie

Mr. Monk you can’t do this to yourself, you can’t do this to me! We’ve come too far for you to lose it like this we’re so close, we’ll find the guys who did it and we’ll bring them to justice.

Monk raises his eye to look at her but she can’t maintain eye contact

Natalie

Besides you have friends who care about you, we all care about you. This isn’t worth it.

Monk continues sweeping. without looking up he asks

Monk

What did they find?

Natalie

I’m not supposed to tell you.

Monk drops the broom and grabs Natalie by the shoulder. His hand digging into her shoulder like the claw of a bulldozer.

Monk

What did they find?

Natalie

A name…they finally found a name…but I can’t, I won’t tell you…not when you’re like this. Please you need help.

Monk

Yes…Yes you’re right, I need help cleaning up this mess.

FADE SCENE

Alright so now that you understand the mood I’d set for this we’d eventually lead up to the final confrontation between Monk and his wife murdering nemesis. The nemesis in this case shall be named Senator Meanface.

EXT ABANDONED AMUSEMENT PARK (NIGHT)

Monk is holding a police issued pistol at arms length aimed at an elderly woman. Her back is to a ferris wheel and he’s standing 10 feet away, eyes unblinking.

Senator Meanface

You…you think you’re going to shoot me? Don’t make me laugh.

Monk

Why? (long pause) Why? WHY?

Senator Meanface

Are you really so dense? Did you think you’d never made enemies in all your years as a policeman?

Monk

Who are you?

Senator Meanface

My sister. You wouldn’t remember her she was just a no name drug dealer you caught in your vice days. What you didn’t realize was during her time in prison she was brutally murdered for some superficial reason.  A reason I never learned. I thought I would return the favor, I thought I would make you hurt like I hurt.

Monk

You have no idea how I hurt

Monk fires the gun, clipping her in the shoulder.

SM (wincing)

I didn’t think you had it in you.

Monk

You don’t know me at all.

Monk starts the ferris wheel. The previously unseen rope around SM’s neck is revealed. It tightens around her neck.

Senator Meanface

I suppose you…think I deserve this?

Monk

I’ve been taught, in these past few years….We all get what we deserve.

SM’s feet slide across the ground shes pulled towards the ferris wheel. it lifts her slowly off the dirt.

SM

Fitting words…You…caused all of this…this was all your…All…your

SM begins wheezing as she’s hanged from the back of the ferris wheel. Monk picks up the shell from his pistol and places it within his front pocket. He lays the gun next to the wheel, carefully not to cover it in dust and turns his back on her swinging body. The lights of the ferris wheel glow around him as he walks away.

FADE SCENE

“Adagop for Strings” by Samuel Barber begins to play. A caption appears to inform the audience that the Senator’s murder was never solved. Monk was never seen again in the town of San Francisco. The words “It’s a gift… and a curse.” appear on the screen. After the credits we see Monk eating a sloppy joe. The camera zooms in on his messy face, and then pans outward to show him sitting at a picnic table. He eyes the napkin next to him…picks it up…then rips it in half with a smile on his slop covered face.

Ferris.wheel.arp.750pix

There we have it a fitting end to Monk. Not only does he escape his ocd tendancies but he even uses them to get away with murder, the very thing he’s been solving the entirety of the series. The show began with one and now 7 seasons later it ends with one, running full circle…just like the ferris wheel.

Breedo came along with his shaky knees and he came with fire.

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15
Jun
09

Happy accidents.

If there were no God, it would be necessary to invent him. – Voltaire

Within the troves and burrows of the internet I have come uponst the greatest of streams, a stream so revolutionarily awesome I don’t think I can ever turn it off.

http://www.livestream.com/streamross

bob-ross

Bob Ross was and is a painting legend star of The Joy of Painting and now his entire series is streaming online 24/7. It’s like finding out theres a free chocolate fountain in your basement that is magically replenished forever, or at least until your power/router goes out. Mr. Ross is a hero of mine and if you don’t know why, it’s time you find out.

 

Picard and Folkhero are synonymous in my book.

Picard and Folkhero are synonymous in my book.

Bob Ross is a Folk Hero

I imagine watching Bob Ross paint is like watching John Henry plant the spikes of the railroad with a mighty swing, Bob’s brush his hammer, the canvas his road. They both have a magical, more myth than man quality about them except that Bob Ross was in fact real. Bob creates joy in all that he touches and molds beauty from nothing, like a wizard. Bob Ross is a wizard. He uses the power of friendship and happiness to draw glory, created from his own perception. Mr. Ross’ perception is quite possibly his greatest folk power. He takes an empty canvas and creates the most intricately detailed landscape scenes in 22 minutes or less . Nothing ever appears out of place, as if everything was already there when he finishes, but that’s the power of his folk magic, he knows where its going to be already. His planning ability is unrivaled as not only does he know where it all will be, it always looks great and is finished in 22 minutes. Bob Ross does not fear the hands of the clock, Bob Ross shall always overcome.

Also like a folk hero he teaches us something. Of course the obvious teachings of the Joy of Painting are…paintsmithing…but that’s not what he’s really teaching. No, Bob Ross teaches you about life, about adversity, about fear and death and joy and god. Bob Ross is a giving man. He wants you to learn that there is always room to be happy and anyone who disagrees with him should be shot.

 

 

In a mad world only the mad are sane.

In a mad world only the mad are sane.

Bob Ross could be insane

When viewing TJoP for the first time you may notice that Mr. Ross is in a completely empty room besides his easel, his paint, and his canvas. He stands in a void with but you the audience and a bleak canvas of white, a direct contrast to the world he inhabits. Bob then takes the only thing at his disposal, his only tool against the darkness, his paints, to create a new world, one he may escape to. Bob Ross broadcasts his entire shows run from the darkest depths of the human soul, an empty vacuum of space void of any life…but Bob finds life there. He not only finds it, Bob creates it.

Bob feels the darkness looming around him and reaches out to the audience for help. He requests that you bring joy to this world with him, this bleak dark space so that he may be happy again. Every episode starts the same, with a sad canvas and an empty room but as he finishes he has created a window to a new life, a world he may never traverse to. It is sad to think that Bob tries to create these wonderful places and keep them happy and calm, but may never visit them as he is trapped within his dark prison.

I suspect that in one episode the camera may be panned and we see a vision of the audience, ourselves, and it be either a mirror or an inanimate object like a cactus, that he has grown accustomed to talking to, akin to Wilson from Castaway. The mirror would symbolize that he is truly alone and he knows it, but fears without someone to talk to he may never find safety. The inanimate object would be worse, as he would truly believe to be teaching something that is in all aspects is unteachable. We are all Bob Ross’ silent cactus, unable to react to the beauty he creates as quietly we must gaze.

 

tip_hat

Bob Ross was a nice man

The whole point of TJoP is that you are to learn to paint like Bob Ross. No one in their right mind actually thinks they can do this however. The man creates mountains from nothing, he makes colors bend to his very essence and tears the sun from the sky as he places it upon his canvas, all in 22 minutes or less. These things never happen out of torment or anger, instead Bob wields his folk powers in such a way that the sun wants to be in his picture, the mountains would love to join his canvas, the clouds would literally die for him. He does this with his gentle nature and a happy word. He may or may not truly believe that he can help you paint, it truly doesn’t matter to him, as long as he knows he can help someone.

His soothing voice is never demanding, its always inquisitive. How bright do you want the sky? How tall do you want the tree? It’s always between you and the tree, and no matter what you choose the tree will be happy, and thus so should you. There are no mistakes, only happy accidents. Bob Ross never judges anyone, it is not his place to judge. He considers himself no better than anyone else but in fact that just makes him more better, maybe the best of all. 

Now you may understand why I’ll probably be watching this stream for months to come as there is quite nothing better than Bob Ross’ Joy of Painting to soothe the soul. I hope you may join me, as Bob would have wanted it that way.

 

 


07
Apr
09

King of the Hill: The Drinking Game

 

I had to see Peggy naked to get this.

I had to see Peggy naked to get this.

 

King of the HIll is a cartoon I never really watched before it started showing on Adult Swim, which is actually a shame because it’s very funny.  I don’t know for sure what changed between then and now but before I couldn’t even tolerate it and now I quite enjoy it.  Time changes a man I suppose…Well anyway this is about one of the greatest fantasy drinking games of all time.  It’s not for the light hearted or weak kidneyed, and may change the way you view Arlen Texas forever.

There are numerous ways to play.  To start you’re going to need the fine adult beverage of your choice.  I always watch King of the Hill with a handle of sippin’ whiskey but to each their own. You’ll also need ample loungin’ room and the sound turned on. Here are the tried an’ true methods starting with the easiest.

 

Those are some persuasive signs.

Those are some persuasive signs.

 

Alright this one is very easy and usually only gets you a few shots tops.  Anytime Hank says “Propane” you take a shot.  From my experience this usually leads to 3 or 4 shots an episode unless its a heavy Hank work oriented one.  Even those you’re most likely ever going to come out with 7 or 8 tops.  If you want added danger you could make it anytime ANYONE says propane but really thats what the other styles are for, and that could lead to a pretty large amount of shots.

This is the usual method for the KotH:DG and as such is the most widely accepted.

 

Dammit Bobby.

Dammit Bobby.

The second tier of KotH:TDG can be a complete crapshoot but also can be the most fun.  Anytime Hank says “Bobby” you take a shot.  This can start getting ridiculous in some episodes as he’ll rapid fire it 4 or 5 times in one dialogue exchange.  Other episodes he’ll only say it two or three times.  Really you should stick to Hank only for this one as if you throw in others it could quickly get out of hand.  In one episode there was something akin to 21 Bobby’s said by various people throughout the episode.  Do this one with care.

 

You are a very scary person.

You are a very scary person.

 The third and final tier is a combination of the first two in addition to the word Arlen.  The first two still work the same with just Hank, but Arlen goes for everyone…and for every Arlen you have to do two shots.  I’m going to be straight with you, this could very well kill you.  There’s episodes where they say Arlen upwards of 10 times and that on top of Bobby and Propane…well…thats a lot of liquor.  You might as well plan to just kill an entire fifth in 30 minutes if you’re going with this method.  The other scary part is these show on Adult Swim at least in hour blocks…sometimes hour and a half blocks.  You aren’t going to make it past the first one with this method…I wouldn’t even try.

There you have it, King of the Hill: The Drinking Game in all its majesty.  It’s rather simple really, like most great drinking games, all you need is some booze and a seat on the couch with 30 minutes to spare.  I leave you now with the new PJ Harvey video which is amazing:

 

02
Apr
09

Bravestarr: I think you roll the R’s.

Fuck. Yeah.  Theres nothing quite like a bipedal shotgun wielding horse to bring home your point.  Bravestarr was a show that I never saw as a child, probably because it was so awesome that if I had caught but a glimpse of it my eyes would melt from their sockets.  My eyes finally feasted upon it while watching Spanish cartoon network completely drunk on a cruise ship docked in Ocho Rios. I thought perhaps, that it was all a lush dream and that I may have made it all up but before I passed out, clutching a pen and a tour guidebook I wrote “Bravestar” so that I would not forget what I had seen.

The flight home was as intense as you can imagine.  I held in my hand the tour book, slowly thumbing the corner in quiet anticipation.  The wait was horrendous.  We landed, loaded up the car, and drove home.  As we rounded my street my knees began to quiver and my palms started to sweat.  I burst the car door open and what began as a swift walk became a flat out gallop, much like Thirty/Thirty and his hooven gallop of justice.  I threw my bags down haphazardly, and leapt towards my room thrusting myself into my chair.  The screen flickered on and I typed as fast as my fingers would allow me “Bravestar” into google. I hit “I’m feeling lucky”…because I was.

This was the moment of truth.

“How was your trip?” someone I didn’t bother to notice asked. I mumbled something unintelligible as the search loaded and there before me, was the wikipedia for Bravestarr.  I had spelled it wrong but that didn’t matter now, my dreams were real.  It’s like finding a leprechaun or slaying a dragon…or doing both at the same time.  This was a time for celebration.

 

The people's space sheriff.

The people's space marshall.

There but for the grace of God go I.  I had found the holy grail. Bravestarr is everything a childrens cartoon should be and more.  It had animal sidekicks, space ships, lasers, cowboys, Anthropomorphic panthers with German accents…you name it this show had it.  I don’t know much about the actual history except for the opening but I like to imagine since Bravestarr is a marshall of “New Texas” that America had literally won the space race so well that not only are they spreading throughout the galaxy but they’re the only known humans to exist in space.  This is exactly what President Eisenhower was going for when he signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act.

The alternate history of New Texas and how it came about aren’t really elaborated upon in the show so I prefer to imagine my own:

After John Wilkes Booth botched the assassination attempt of Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln immediately set in action the space program, realizing his mortality and inevitable death he wept as he had never seen the stars up close.  Instead of focusing on the economic and cultural problems America faced,  everything was put into getting to space.  The tolls on the government were heavy and many died in building the first rockets but under Theodore Roosevelt in the early 1900’s America launched their first manned spacecraft. 

The implications of this action were broad and nations began to set their own space programs up, thus beginning a space race in the 1920’s.  Sadly, America was not prepared to deal with the hardships that followed  and still suffered a great depression in 30’s.  Luckily a man named FDR took office and set up his New Deal, which was “Get to the Moon.” This unheard of proposal led America into a finacial boom as millions looked towards that spherical white orb and dared to dream.  

When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor during WW2, the Americans had already landed 3 spacecrafts on the moon. There they found ancient alien technology, left by Godkings countless millenia before, far superior than any an Earth man had touched.  Using it from their moon stronghold, the Americans launched satellites that encircled Japan in a giant fire shield.  The other nations immediately agreed that they would stop the war and the Japanese were never let out of the barrier, which is why they don’t appear in the show.

From this moment on America held all the cards and left the rest of the world a husk of their former selves.  They took their empire from Washington to the moon and then beyond until they’d reached a place they dubbed New Texas, not forgetting their roots. Here a lawman was born, of Native American decent…somehow.  A man known only as Bravestarr.
 

There, there, at least your hair smells nice.

There, there, at least your hair smells nice.

Bravestarr had a huge variety of characters and to my knowledge paved the way for women’s rights unlike any children’s show before it.  The love interest character Judge J.B. McBride, was a redhaired judge…just like Judge Judy, except her jurisdiction was space and she wore a black cowboy hat. I’m pretty certain before this cartoon there were no female judges at all, so Judge Judy has a lot to be thankful of Bravestarr about. Bravestarr is the Susan B Anthony of Western cartoons.

That not deep enough for you? Alright I got some deep shit here, another main character was the villain who was a zombie cowboy named Tex Hex who fired energy bolts and tried to satiate his immense greed.  He was an obvious allegory to the corporate greed of America while Bravestarr was representing the good expansionist/freedom aspects.  They were two faces of the same coin, both powered by ancient gifts from benefactors (much like the patriot forefathers) who fought for what they each believed was neccessary.  

Tex was once a man who had found love and could have easily given up his life of crime to live happily with his girlfriend. He chose instead to follow his sinful heart and seek out fortunes away from her.  This is much like how America could have stayed with Britain and lived a peaceful coexistance but instead decided to venture off on her own, to satisfy her own greed.  Tex’s entire backstory is a comparison to the American Revolutionary War.

Most importantly however, it also had one of the greatest characters ever created, Thirty/Thirty.  He’s basically every childhood dream you can possibly think of:

I don't know why I let you ride me.

I don't know why I let you ride me.

1. He’s a talking animal. Every kid wants their pet to talk to them.  It’s like a need that only cartoons can fill.

2. He can transform. “You know what would be awesome? He should change into a shotgun wielding manbeast.” Find one thing wrong with that.  It’s not possible.

3. His name.  It’s the same word twice with a slash in the middle.  No kid on earth is going to say thats not cool.

4. He wields an “energy laser shotgun” Yeah, okay.

If you took everything that makes a child fall in love with a character and put it in one guy…Thirty/Thirty is your answer.  Although I guess the answer would actually be 1.

To some animals, this is heaven.

To some animals, this is heaven.

Finally a draw to the show for kids was Bravestarr’s animal powers.  Now I’m fine with this tactic as it’s used in a lot of different medium and oftentimes can lead to neat gimmicks.  The problem with Bravestarr though was his animal forms didn’t really make any sense:

  • Eyes of the Hawk: Enhances his vision and can also grant him an aerial view of the surrounding area.
  • Ears of the Wolf: Gives him super-hearing.
  • Strength of the Bear: Gives him super-strength.
  • Speed of the Puma: Gives him super-speed.

Alright so he has to turn each of these on for some reason and they aren’t usually working at the same time.  That’s fine…I guess, but the problem comes when he bears up and starts throwing boulders.  Bears aren’t usually known for their boulder throwing prowess, much less in the ability to lift 4x their own weight.  I guess this isn’t supposed to be taken literally but if all I watched was Bravestarr as a child my understanding of the animal kingdom would be much different than the norm.  The same goes for speed of the puma where he literally takes off so fast he becomes blurry.  Now I’ve never seen a puma run in person but I don’t think they usually break the sound barrier.

The animal forms are neat and all but for the most part he could have gone without mentioning them at all and I could have just believed he had normal Native American spirit powers. You know, the usual stereotype.