Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sunday, June 9, 2013

How I Met "How I Met Your Mother"

So, readers.  It has been a long journey from the beginning of this blog until now, and I haven't really been posting recently.  But I've been super busy.  Some very important events have been happening in my life: I graduated from college, I quit my job, and most importantly I finally found a new show that I love.

Let's start at the beginning.  "How I Met Your Mother" has been on the air for a while now, but until recently I had only considered it as decent for a sitcom.  In other words: horrible.  Yes, I know, all the Whedon alums, the great reviews, the guest stars, blah blah.  But the laugh track.  I'm sorry, but I have never, ever, in my entire life been able to abide by a show with a laugh track.  I can deal with watching "Seinfeld" reruns occasionally, but that's about the most I can take. The laugh track?  That's a dealbreaker.

Flash forward to this last year, where before I left for class in the afternoon, I liked to watch "Grey's Anatomy" reruns on Lifetime even though I can watch the whole show commercial free on iTunes or on Netflix.  I don't know about you, but there's something better about having those horrible mind-numbing commercial breaks to get me motivated to get ready and go.  If I watch something on Netflix, getting sucked into a marathon is too easy, and I like getting chores done during commercial breaks when I watch t.v. during the day.  At some point, I started to catch small glimpses of "How I Met Your Mother" because Lifetime began to run it before "Grey's Anatomy".  While I was vacuuming, while I was washing the dishes, while I was feeding the cat, I would see a minute here and there when I wandered by the t.v.  Then I started watching whole episodes.  The one that really got me hooked was in Season 1 where Ted tries to meet his match with a matchmaker, and Lily and Marshall are haunted by the ferocious Cockamouse.  As the majestic creature flew into the sunset at the end of the episode, I knew something magical was happening.  And then when it turned back around to attack, I made the big jump.  I switched over to Apple TV and started Season 1 on Netflix.

It's been a couple weeks since I started the show, and I'm already on Season 5.  One of my favorite moments recently was the intro to an episode which has Robin, Marshall, and Ted sitting on the couch with a big box.  She begins to scream "What's in the box?!?!" over and over as they look at her blankly.  "Ok, so I'm the jerk."  Robin laments.  Let me just tell you I've spent minutes of my life repeating "Bueller.... Bueller.... Bueller..." with no reaction from my coworkers.  Many of them are teenagers, but still. Those moments break my heart.  So I felt for Robin when her brilliant "Seven" reference goes unacknowledged.  I was on the couch laughing my ass off.  And that's what's brilliant about this show.  It hits all the quirky stuff I love about myself: love of Baseball above all other sports, uncontrollable love for hockey (players... lets be honest, ladies, amiright?), Marshall and Lily's lovely relationship that goes for 10 years without them getting married while still being awesome, Star Wars, NPH, the list is too long to even keep going.  So in the end, all the reasons I should have watched the show before (the Whedon alums, the great reviews, the guest stars) were only the tip of the iceberg.  Remind me next time I'm resisting a show only because of its format that I'm being stupid, give me one of those "Should have had a V8" head slaps, then tell me "remember 'How I Met Your Mother'?"  That should do it.

And that, readers, is the story of how I met "How I Met Your Mother".

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Random Childhood Flashback - Zoobilee Zoo

So does anyone else remember this show? I had this moment the other day when I got a tiny flash of this theme song, but I was in Chile with very little internet access so I had to wait until today to look it up.

What are your random childhood tv flashbacks?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

In Memoriam

In late October, my Dad's best friend, my honorary uncle, and pretty much the coolest guy I've ever known passed away.  I've been depressed.  I've let myself mope around and be unproductive.  I've stopped doing the things that make me happy, like writing, and let myself get caught up in my feelings of anger and sadness.  But then it occurred to me that what I was doing is the opposite of the way that Curtin lived his life.  I figure it's time to pull myself out of my funk and get back about my life the way I want to live it.  If there's one thing that I learned from my "Uncle" Mike, it was how to be searingly sarcastic and humorous in the face of absolute tragedy.  His health was poor for over a decade, and his death wasn't a surprise, but it still seems impossible that his laugh and his smile are no longer around.  Despite how sick he was, and how many roadblocks he faced in his life, he never seemed to feel sorry for himself or angry about any of it.  If only we all could be so graceful in the face of such tribulations.

In honor of Michael Curtin, here are my picks for the Top 5 TV episodes that deal with death:

Beware of spoilers for One Tree Hill, Angel, and Buffy if you haven't watched those shows.

5. One Tree Hill, Season 3, Episode 17, "Who Will Survive and What Will Be Left of Them"

Sometimes it is not the moment that a death occurs that is the most painful, but the aftermath, the unanswered questions that will never be resolved.  One Tree Hill dealt with a real issue facing America, school shootings.  But it wasn't the shooting episode itself that was the most powerful, it was the episode afterwards, where you see how differently everyone experiences the emotional aftermath of the tragedy.
"The truth is, every day I have to come from this school is a day less I have to come back" -Jimmy Edwards... Before he brought a gun to school.  But we all know (at least those of us who made it through high school), that after that, things get better.  If only he had been able to get to that point too.
Denial, Anger, Fear, Acceptance, Grief.  These are the stages we all go through, no matter how we are confronted with loss, and we go through them in their own order. This episode captures the confusion felt when such a shocking and traumatic event occurs.



 4.  Fraggle Rock, Season 5, Episode 7, "Gone But Not Forgotten"  

As I've said before, my parents didn't let me watch a lot of TV as a kid, but what I did watch was heavy on animation and puppetry.  Between Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, Muppet Babies, and Fraggle Rock, I probably learned more from puppets than I did people growing up, and Fraggle Rock was always my favorite.  In this episode of Fraggle Rock's final season, Wembley encounters the rarest creature in the world and befriends him, only to lose him.
While exploring the caves of Fraggle Rock, Wembley becomes trapped in a landslide.  To his surprise, he is saved by a strange creature called Mudwell The Mudbunny.  They find that they have s lot in common, and become fast friends.  However, the next morning, Mudwell yells at Wembley, driving him back to his fellow Fraggles.  Confused as to while his new best friend would be so mean, he goes into a depression.  Finally, Wembley's fellow Fraggles convince him that if he and Mudwell were truly friends, that he should go back and talk Mudwell and find out was acting so mean.  Wembley returns to discover that Mudwell did truly car about him, but was afraid to become close to someone only to say goodbye.  It turns out that he never knows when his mud will be ready, and when it is, he will have to die. 
Unfortunately, Mudwell's mud was ready, and Wembley got to forgive his friend just in time for him to die.  Unable to be consoled by family and friends, Wembley eventually returns to the site of Mudwell's death.   There, he meets a lizard creature who hatches from Mudwell's mud-mummified remains.  Although he is not Mudwell, the lizard was born from Mudwell's mud, and knows the water song the Mudwell sang when Wembley begins humming it.  In the end, Wembley finds closure by acknowledging that a piece of Mudwell would always live on in his heart and in the world through the lizard and the song:
"Feel the river flowing,
Feel it coming,
Feel it going,
In the river,
In the rain,
or in the sky.

One day it's an ocean,
One day ice in motion,
One day it's a teardrop 
In your eye.

Once I wasn't there,
And then I suddenly appeared,
And now I seem to be at home
In Earth and air.

Just like the river flowing, 
I know where I'm going,
Look beneath your boots
And I'll be there.

Just a dream away,
You've got to leave to stay,
We'll meet again someday,
Just a dream away." 
And isn't it true of everyone, that no matter how much we love them or they love us, we'll have to say goodbye.  It's what stops many people from caring, but you have to embrace life and make relationships despite certain death looming over your head and the head of everyone you know and love.  That's the reality of being human, and it's dealt with in this children's show with absolute mastery.



3. Angel, Season 5, Episode 15, "A Hole in the World"

Winifred Burkle is one of the greatest Whedon characters ever written.  I'd say Top 5, easily, but that's another list for another time.  Her story is both horrible and inspiring, a comedy and a tragedy.  In the universe of Buffy and Angel, someone with no superpowers usually doesn't last very long on their own.  Fred, on the other hand, somehow lived through being thrown through a portal to Pylea (a hell-dimension) by a jealous professor, and sold into human slavery for years.  Even when she's rescued, it was by a dreamy guy who turns into a monster and is absolutely romantically unavailable.  Needless to say, her transition back into L.A. and modern life after Pylea was pretty rough.  But somehow, by season five, Fred had gotten pretty much everything she ever wanted.  She had unlimited funds and resources for her science lab, she and Wesley were back together (Finally! Team Fresley forever) as a couple and out in the field, burning up demon bugs, and her life was looking like less of a nightmare than it had been until then.  Everyone around her was also moving on from their issues.  Fred's ex-boyfriend and colleague Charles Gunn had forgiven her and Wesley, Spike and Angel were bickering like an old married couple about whether cavemen or astronauts would win in a fight, and the former Angel Investigations team was finally looking like they had settled into Wolfram and Hart without being too compromised by the power.  If fairness or karma or any of that really made a difference, Fred and Wesley would have walked off into the sunset together, grown old and died at 115 holding hands in their sleep.  But instead, as Spike had been insisting all episode, "cavemen win".  Despite Wolfram and Hart's unlimited technology, magics, firepower, and funds, Fred's body is slowly taken over by an ancient god called Illyria.  After all she had been through in her life, Fred is taken out by what is basically, as she calls it, a "Demon flu".  She burns up from the inside and dies, leaving only the shell of who she was. 
Joss Whedon loves to kill off characters that fans love, especially after building them up in the audience's eyes but it's more than just a gimmick.  I appreciate when writers and showrunners do this in their shows despite the fact that I hate loving a character only for them to die (umm, T-Dog?!? I'm still not over that one.)  It is far more realistic to have characters die for no reason, or in unfair ways, because that is how the world works.  In my experience, there is no fairness or reason in this world, and we just have to love the people we love for as long as they're around, because you really just never know.



2. Six Feet Under, Season 1, Episode 1, "Pilot"

The whole series deals with death, obviously, but the pilot sets the stage for the entire series going forward.  Alan Ball seamlessly interweaves humor, tragedy, fantasy, and philosophy into this universe and the characters that live in it.  The Fisher family has dealt with death their entire lives, but when they must bury one of their own, the reality of the family business begins to set in for all of them.  If you haven't watched this series, just go do it immediately.  There's really no excuse.



1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 5, Episode 16, "The Body"

"The Body" is probably the most realistic episode about death I have ever seen.  The similarities to my boyfriend's father's death have added to the impact of this episode to me, but even before that, it was always the episode that would get to me the most when watching season 5.  A lot of people die in Buffy's life, but her mother is taken from her not by monsters but by nature.  Buffy struggles for the whole season with not being able to fight what is killing her mother, having to leave her mother's life in the hands of doctors.  She even tries to prove that her mother's illness is somehow mystical, so that she can do something about it.  Finally, Joyce undergoes surgery to cure her cancer, but several weeks after her seemingly successful brain surgery, Joyce Summers dies suddenly alone at home.
The episode has no music behind it, and is simply a raw, realistic, heartbreaking depiction of what someone must go through when they discover a loved one dead.  I won't really go into detail, because I believe this episode speaks for itself.  It is a piece of art that stands up just as well in the context of the series as it does alone.  Even if you've never watched Buffy, and don't plan to, you should still watch this episode.  It really is that powerful.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Walking Dead rips my heart out and stomps on it

SPOILERS!!!! Please do not read this post if you don't want spoilers for the most recent Walking Dead episode, "The Killer Within".
Ok, you've been warned.  Read further at your own risk:

The Walking Dead lost me for a while last season, but starting with the Great Barn Reveal/Zombie Sophia incident, every episode has been better than the one before, and I can't believe I'm about to discuss events this big only 4 episodes into this season.  First, let me say I'm shocked that Hershel is alive and able to hobble about so soon. Did these people have some stockpile of antibiotics, painkillers, and extra blood I don't know about?  Anyway, while everyone was happily patting themselves on the back and gazing dreamily over at the (miraculously) alive Hershel out for a stroll, I was thinking to myself that those zombies we saw in the beginning being led into the prison were going to pop out at any second and chomp Hershel to tiny bits in order to set things right.  Am I wrong?  Does Hershel actually deserve to be alive still?  I really don't think so.  It's illogical.  And after this episode, it's unfair.  But that's what happens in this universe.  To pay for Hershel's survival, others had to die.  But my god, T-Dog?!  WHY??  I was rooting for T from the beginning.  He survived a crazy racist nutbag who wanted to kill him, a really bad slash to the arm and subsequent horrible infection, and the fact that he was the only black guy on a show where people die every episode.  I really wanted him to last to the end, as a kind of fuck you to the "Black Guy Dies First" system.  But if he had to go down, this was actually the most badass way it could have happened.  He gave his life to save the others, forged ahead while bleeding to death, and let himself be eaten alive to help Carol escape.  I cried for T-Dog, a character I loved dearly, who was incredibly underutilized in Season 2, and who I hoped would become a bigger character this season.  But the trauma was far from over.
Lori is someone who I have wanted to die from pretty much the beginning of the show.  Everything that happened between Shane and Rick was her fault, 100%.  She is awful, but this season she has been a little less awful.  I think she always knew that her pregnancy was a death sentence, so when she decided to puke up all those Plan-B pills in season 2, that was her committing a slow suicide.  Her first pregnancy ended in a C-Section, which pretty much means that this one would have to as well. Hershel and Carol were the only people who could help with that, and even they couldn't guarantee her survival in ideal conditions.  When she ended up locked in a closet with Maggie and Carl, I knew she was fucked, and so did she.  What I didn't predict was how violently I would react to the death of a character I hated.  Although I have no idea how a newborn baby is going to survive in this world, the choice was for Lori and the baby to die, or for only Lori to die, so she make the right choice.  Despite the risks of pregnancy on the run, the human race does have to start repopulating at some point, although no one has really brought that up except for that lady who showed Andrea around Woodbury.  Sidenote: I thought her telling Andrea the number of survivors was going to grow by one was a nice touch, and reminiscent of Battlestar Galactica when Billy tells President Roslin that a baby was born and the number on the board can go up that day instead of down.
But I digress. I have to deal with the heart of the episode:  The baby is not going to come naturally, and there's nothing else to do.  Lori is bleeding out anyway, and so she tells Maggie to cut her open.  What follows is absolutely heart-wrenching: Lori telling her son she loves him before getting gutted in front of him, Maggie asking Carl to hold Lori's insides while she works, the baby looking green and unwell for a few seconds before it cried, it all was magic on the screen.  But it wasn't over.  Lori had to be dealt with.  Maggie offers to do it, but Carl is the man now, he remembers Rick telling him back in the barn that this would happen someday, and he had to do the right thing.  So Carl tells Maggie to go, and what he next sequence was perfect: the shot of Carl on his knees, hugging Lori's body, cut to Maggie and and baby waiting at the door upstairs, and then the off-camera gunshot.  I was crying like a baby.  The Walking Dead played me like a fiddle, ripped my heart out and stomped on it this week, and the episode wasn't even over.
In the end, all the other storylines seemed to play second fiddle.  The inevitable absorption of Axel and Oscar into the group (I mean we did need a new black guy now that T-Dog *sniffle* is monster meat), the disappearance of Carol, even the will-they-stay-or-go storyline back in UnPleasantville (Woodbury) didn't really seem to matter as Rick crumpled to the ground in a mess of tears in front of his people.  A turn in leadership seems imminent, as Rick is going to be questioned about how that guy could have been left for dead without confirmation, and let to roam free inside the prison, causing all of this to happen.  Also, I'm not sure he's going to rebound emotionally.  Who will step up? That's my major question going forward and I have a feeling this season will revolve around this power shift.
Agree? Disagree? let me know!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

What happens when Mark goes away for the weekend

First of all, let me just say that my first post was an incredible brain fart.  I edited it multiple times and it still sounds so so wrong when I read it back.  I guess the hardest part of writing again after a LOOONG hiatus is actually getting it out there.  I've been thinking about all of this stuff for almost 10 years now, and it's time to actually start spitting it on to a page instead of letting it just sink back into my brain.  So that's what I did, and it really felt pretty damn good.

Anyway, what happens when Mark goes out of town for the weekend? I watch tons of TV that he hates.  Well, usually.  This weekend,  I started by catching up on a couple of episodes of the new 90210 to clear my head after work last night, but the painfully poor writing and lack of imaginative storytelling combined with the fact that about 80% of the actors on the show are so bad I wouldn't ask them to work for me if they paid me, I had to give up.  I watched a lot of the original Beverly Hills 90210 in high school on some basic cable network like FX after it was in syndication.  Actually, it was the reason I thought that by the end of High School it would be totally normal to have dated every single guy I ever knew.  But given the distance and my increased emotional stability since then, I just can't take Darren Starr's high school story lines seriously anymore.  In the end, this is probably a very very good thing.  Anyway, after I got bored of 90210, I decided that given that the first show I followed obsessively was a J.J. Abrams show (Alias), it was a good time to restart Fringe.  Especially because Fringe is about to end, and I want to make sure I'm fresh on all the mythology before the series finale.

I saw the first episode of Fringe on a bootleg video site months before it actually aired.  It was a rough cut with a bunch of Lost music set to it, but I didn't ask questions, I dove into the show.  I loved Alias, I loved what had aired so far of Lost, and I wanted more J.J.  Other than Joss Whedon, J.J. Abrams was the only showrunner I believed in (at that time) to make consistently great TV.  Fringe starts off with a story-of-the-week type case: a plane auto-lands itself at Logan Airport in Boston with everyone dead on board.  An FBI agent, who knows nothing about a paranormal "Fringe" division gets involved with the case and is pulled into the fold.  Instead of setting itself apart from them, Fringe does not shy away from the shows that came before it, laying the rails for its existence.  Advertising for the premiere and first season defined the show as this generation's The X-Files.  As a fan of The X-Files,  I was a little nervous about that, but I began to totally embrace it as the first season went on.  The differences in the characters, and the fact that the writers were able to nod to X-Files fans without simply ripping off its cases or mythology.  While I was getting excited about where Fringe would go, I was incredibly wary of FOX's ability to allow a sci-fi show to flourish after the tragedy that was Firefly (and, later, the tragedy of Dollhouse).  I expected every episode of Fringe to be its last, and I think that may have prevented me from really enjoying the first season.  I was honestly afraid to like the show too much and then have it get cancelled.  In my re-watching of the pilot, I am struck by how closed off Olivia (Anna Torv) was in the beginning.  I remember thinking, 'can this woman act?' when I first watched the pilot, and using it as an excuse to not get attached to her character.  Boy was I wrong.  The range Anna Torv shows over the course of the show, season one until now, is absolutely staggering.  Fauxlivia? Alternate Reality Olivia? Future Olivia? I mean she makes them all seem like fully realized totally different people.   It's like Grace Park's role as Sharon Valerii in Battlestar Galactica, some actors are just so good they can easily hold multiple roles in a show.  Honestly, I'm embarrassed that I ever questioned her acting skills.  Let's be honest, J.J. knows how to cast actors with serious chops.  John Noble is a delight to watch from the beginning as Walter Bishop, the eccentric genius the show revolves around, and the flamboyance and unpredictability of his character serve to counteract the dreariness of Olivia's personality in season 1.  If you've read my first post, you'll know that Dawson's Creek has a special place in my heart.  Dawson's Creek watchers are generally split into Team Dawson and Team Pacey, and I have to say I was a Pacey person from the beginning.  I was thrilled to see him on TV again, but even though he's excellent, the acting around him eclipses his skill a little.  Anyway, the point is, the entire cast is great, the story is excellent, and there's pretty much no excuse to not go back and watch this show now that it is on Netflix instant viewing.

Tomorrow, new episodes of Homeland, Walking Dead, and Boardwalk Empire air.  God Bless Sunday night TV.  Goodnight.

Friday, November 2, 2012


Ok, I'm not exaggerating when I say that TV saved my life.  I've been in some personally very dark places that I'm not sure I would have been able to pull myself out of without some of the role models I found on TV.  The first show I watched, pilot to finale, was Alias.  That was a turning point in my love for TV, but it wasn't my first exposure to TV dramas.  I had followed shows before (most intently Dawson's Creek), but I was a bandwaggon jumper on those, mostly watching them so that I could be "in" on something socially when I switched schools in 7th grade.  Before I came to Sidwell, I knew nothing about pop culture.  I listened to Oldies 100.3, my favorite musical artists were Bob Dylan and Paul Simon.  I loved movies like Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Ghostbusters.  I played Stoddard Soccer on a co-ed team, boys were my friends and my teammates.  Apparently, for a 13 year old at a prestigious Washington, DC Private School, that was not so normal.  I went home and cried when a classmate made fun of me for never hearing a Sublime song before, and started listening to 101.1 and 99.1 to try to fit in more.   It was on one of these morning shows on the way to school that I heard my first ads for Dawson's Creek.  Then I heard people at school talking about it, and I knew this was something I had to get in on.

My parents were never big on TV.  I am the oldest of two, and I grew up watching PBS kids shows, old Zorro and Batman reruns, and movies on VHS.  My sister grew up more in the era of Barney and the Power Rangers, but still the only shows we really watched on a weekly basis were Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!.  Needless to say, it came as quite a shock to them when I asked to start watching a teen soap opera on basic cable.  It was a type of blasphemy I could not have predicted, and it took a couple weeks to wear them down, but I finally got to watch my precious socially boosting Dawson's Creek a couple of weeks into season 1. Unfortunately, it didn't really help me socially, but it did give me an angsty teen to identify with in Joey Potter.  In hindsight, the overwritten neurosis of Joey Potter is embarrassing; But at the time, with the confusion and hormones of puberty raging through my brain, it was like looking in a mirror.  She was awkward, she was smart, she was one of the guys until suddenly that wasn't cool anymore and her best friend was looking at other girls the way she looked at him.  But there was hope for her, she forged on through all of it and came out with Dawson by her side at least for a little while, and that gave me hope for myself.  With no older siblings to compare life to, TV was going to have to do.

I want to make sure I don't discount the actual role models I found in my life during my middle and high school years, there were some very important real people in my life, both my age and older, but my family life left a lot to be desired.  With few exceptions, my close relations were and are very unpleasant, negative people on both sides, and many people I looked up to in my youth turned out to be very ugly people later on in life, so I took most relationships I had with people with a grain of salt, always expecting them to end unexpectedly, with no warning.  And for the most part I continuously got what I expected.  The barn where I grew up riding and basically living at over the summers went bankrupt.  The owners had to sell all the horses and move away.   My aunt who I idolized and spent a lot of time with as a child turned out to be a petty, hateful person who couldn't get over whatever went wrong in her life to be a decent sister to my mom.   The only track coach who ever motivated me to run well was a potentially drug-addicted nutbag, and only coached for one season before losing his job.  My freshman season was the only season I placed in the finals, and ran so well that I was named All-ISL.  After that, I never lived up to the expectations of myself or my coaches.  My spirit was broken, and clinical depression and anxiety disorder lead to serious eating issues that definitely impacted my athletic performance.  My first boyfriend broke up with me without warning.  It was several days after September 11, 2001 and a couple weeks before our one year anniversary.  The next month he went to Homecoming with the girl I had been suspicious he was cheating on me with over the summer and kissed her on the dance floor right in front of me.

In the midst of all of this, I convinced my parents to let us watch more and more network TV: The X-Files, reruns of Beverly Hills 90210, MTV, VH1, I went nuts.  I basically just wanted to escape from the world around me however I could.  When I was in 9th grade, Alias premiered.  I remember seeing the promos during Jeopardy! and hearing them on the radio and thinking, "this looks awesome"!  I watched every single episode, and that was when I realized that TV could not only be good, it could be amazing.  It could be an art form, a universe created out of nothing with fully developed, believable characters and a deep and meaningful mythology.  My obsession with movies and TV led me to my first real job at the Potomac Video down the street.  While I never felt like I fit in at school, I felt at home with the older guys who worked there.  The appreciated the stuff I did, they liked the movies I did and introduced me to more awesome movies and TV shows.  It was my sister who introduced me to Buffy.  After months of bugging, and catching a couple reruns over the summer before college, I decided to take home season one and give it a chance.  And that was the beginning:  I was OBSESSED.   The strength Buffy showed in the face of true horror and tragedy gave me strength in the face of an emotionally abusive relationship that was basically just a recreation of my relationship with my mother.  It took a long time and I allowed myself to endure a lot of shit before I could break free, but when I did I felt like a new person, and I truly feel like Joss Whedon is to thank.  Buffy led to Angel, friends from high school who learned I liked Buffy told me about Firefly.  Between these three shows, I found that I could take the fortitude and morality that I saw onscreen and apply it to my own life.  I don't know how else I would have pulled myself out of the cloud of depression and anxiety and inappropriate amounts of medication the University doctors and my psychiatrist decided I needed.  Despite this haze of hell, I identified that I deserved to be treated well, that nothing in my past meant I deserved to feel pain.  I rose above, stood up for myself and my well-being and came out the other side relatively intact.

I can safely say that the time between when I was 14 and 19 are the worst and most painful years of my life, and you couldn't pay me enough money or offer me anything to go back and relive those years.  But still, I wouldn't change anything.  In the end it has all made me who I am today and I can say for the first time in my life that who I am today is pretty cool.

So let me say it once and for all: TV saved my life, and made me who I am today.  I am an unabashed TV addict, a scholar of TV studies, and a believer that not all TV is evil if you use it for good.  I read TV books, I follow TV blogs and websites, and now I feel like it's my turn to weigh in on today's media.  I'll share reviews, random thoughts, and essays that I have written about my favorite and least favorite TV Shows.  Without further ado, here it is.  My Big Fat TV Blog...