Does anyone blog just the right amount? I seem to blog either too much or too little. When it's too much I feel guilty for sucking away the time. When it's too little I miss the rush of communicating with y'all. Now with Twitter and all the other blogesque internetty micro-thingies like "Share on Facebook," I find a new threshold of blogworthiness has taken over me. A few musings seems like too little to hang a blog post on. Three or four links don't seem worth the energy of composing a post and making sure the spelling is good enough. I can just e-mail them to the people I really think will dig them or communicate them some other way online. What I think is missing now, though, is precisely the inconsequential post, the random observation that doesn't work its way into a larger point. I think you won't mind reading that sort of thing.

And so:

My general theory of Reality TV is that it's all about tears and hugs. This week's Project Runway brought the tears and oh boy, we really knew the feelings behind them. Ricky, who seemed so sure to be a loser every time, won the challenge with his sophisticated denim corset dress and just couldn't hold it in. Triumph over adversity is such a basic trope of reality shows and this ep did it right, which that bitchy Christian talking trash about Ricky in an on-the-fly segment earlier on to make us wonder if Ricky really has what it takes to "make it work" (which as catchphrases go is sorta lame, Tim Gunn). It's always great to see at the end of an episode of reality TV how the producers included details to set up the ending that you can only appreciate in retrospect.

Simon has taken "not as good as you think you are" as a kind of catchphrase this season (so far) on Idol. I liked it once, it was ok the second time, and I really don't care to hear him say it again. This week's eps were only an hour each and produced few memorable moments.

I started teaching my big class and I feel like the mayor of a small town. I set policies, meet with underlings (i.e., my wonderful TAs) behind closed doors to talk strategy, satisfy requests from citizens when they're reasonable, and occasionally lay down the law. Nothing in my academic training has prepared me for this.

We are almost at the end of season 3 of The Wire and I'm still avoiding spoilers whenever possible [spoiler ahead]. I predicted the murder of Stringer Bell in the penultimate episode of the third season but did not anticipate my profound grief over his loss. It's been three days and I still can't shake it. This is one reason why those who say The Wire is more than just televisual high-fiber cereal are so right: the stories it tells are so masterful just as stories, before you consider any of the show's sociological and political lessons. But you knew that.

That's all for now. More later.


Jason Mittell said...

Ah yes, Stringer's death is one of the most intense & complex moments in TV I've ever seen. You completely feel for the guy, even though he's the one who ordered the previously-most-distressing murder on the show. The earlier scene between Stringer & Avon on the balcony is in the all-time pantheon for acting on film. I'd recommend taking a short break before diving into s4, as you need some emotional space before getting wrapped in the new storylines.

Jonathan Gray said...

Stringer's death is still a sore spot, though as Jason suggests, I'm aware that it shouldn't be. What a spectacular character and wonderful acting, writing, and directing.

I'd disagree with Jason, though -- charge through to Season 4. It'll tire you, yes, and Stringer's death will soon be replaced by new emotional concerns, but the fact that a show can capture you that well is worth the exhaustion.