Saturday, October 04, 2008

Weekend Rant - Out of Sync

Things have been off schedule most of the week due to the upcoming Federal election. Yup, we are in full election mode and 2 nights this week were taken up with the big debates in French and English here in the Great White North (GWN). For me it has become clear that we need to go in a new direction and I openly favour the Liberal Party and their Green Shift platform. We need to change direction and look at alternative sources of energy as well as reducing our consumption.I could not bear to live with the horror of a Conservative Majority government and their disdain for not only the Arts community but their antique attitudes towards women and the gay community. I, for one, have no interest in going backwards in time nor risking to lose gains already made. The Conservatives are completely out of sync with what the people actually want, yet they try to manipulate the media and the news and govern as though they have the will of the people when i reality they are a minority government (not to mention that their leader called this election because he said he couldn't govern with the current status quo and he had put a law in place calling for fixed election times) and they have been bullying their way around.

End of political speech --- but it is my rant and all this politics has affected my regular TV viewing this week quite a bit as real issues took over the airwaves instead of my usual chill out, relax and get entertained mode that the tube is usually for.

This was a great week for Canadian TV as the Rick Mercer Report , This Hour has 22 Minutes and Air Farce Live (all CBC shows), came back to the airwaves at a crucial time. The media has been inundated with propaganda from the current minority government and the usual voices of reason have been off (the TV season has just been getting started here in the GWN) and I have been in desperate need of sum laughs and good scathing political humour a la Daily Show. Things did not disappoint and I am ecstatic that the "liberal media" is all over the election and wasting no time with blasting the candidates. It's all good stuff, and helping to get things back in sync.

So you think you can Dance ? Canada returned this week with the second part of the competition and the selection of the Top 20 Dancers. 10 guys and 10 girls were chosen out of the pool of dancers and I was a bit surprised that 5 of the guys are from Québec but none of the girls.The competitions were interesting and I liked seeing the Judges do different styles with the dancers as they slowly cut them down to 20, but I hated the whole "fake out" style of telling the dancers who was in or out at the end. It seems kind of cruel to be playing practical jokes at such a pivotal point and it felt mean spirited, which is surprising because in general I find the competition to be kinder and gentler here than in the USA.

With the quantity of shows being followed, I am playing catch up over the weekend and will do another posting with some feedback on some of the regular shows, but in stuff that I absolutely had to follow, I was in sheer heaven with the long awaited return of Pushing Daisies. There is no other show like this one on TV, and it's is such candy for the senses it's hard to choose favorite parts of an episode as I usually so enthralled by all of it's elements. The art design and visual look and feel of the series blends so well with the characters and story lines that it is almost too much, but at the same time each episode makes me feel like there wasn't enough and I can hardly wait until the next one.

The season opener, Bzzzzzzzzz, was as sweet as honey and after a quick catch up on the first abbreviated season we get to Ned & Chuck getting ready to bring Chuck's bees back to life. Not only did we get an nice look at our couple that can never touch (Ned looks quite fine in his boxers), but we got some great special effects as the bees are poured over Ned and come back to life. The quality of this show is always such a pleasant surprise.
As things advance we get a visit from Chuck's Aunts (including dear old mom) at the Pie Hole and Olive having a breakdown as she is overwhelmed with being a "homeopathic drug mule" (the writing was phenomenal this episode) and keeping all the secrets that are going on around her. Later we see that she has been taken away by Aunt/Mom Lily to the Convent where Chuck was born and we get a great almost Sound of Music moment with Olive on the hill top. I was just waiting for the music before they cut to the next part and left me in wonder. Olive and the Poor (I thought you meant porter) was just too funny for words, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that our Mother Superior is none other than Diana Scarwid, who played Jaye's mom on the show Wonderfalls also written by the brilliant Bryan Fuller and also starred Lee Pace. It's great how some actors get to work with same writers over and over and the little communities that it creates.

Our mystery this week was all about Honey based Cosmetics, Bee Girls and Bees. The look was great, all honey comb influenced and there is always a 50's vibe floating around in the art direction. The story was fun but it was more all the other stuff going on that I loved. More mystery about Chuck and her mom, Olive learns that Chuck's father (oh no! another secret!) was sister Vivian's boyfriend. I like how Olive left her matchy match apartment and Chuck moved in, to be next to Ned and how Ned got all of Chuck's old stuff that Vivian had kept to furnish the apartment. Olive may have had the best lines of the evening, but Emerson got me wondering what is going on with his pop-up book titled " Lil' Gum Shoe - The tale of a little girl who's father couldn't find her " that had a working lamp in it ( very cool) but had me more fascinated with the title than the way it popped up. JUst some more mystery to be revealed over the season I imagine. I can hardly wait, but I am concerned that the ratings are lower than last year and hope it will be around for a couple of seasons.

Survivor: Gabon showed that when your team is out of sync that things don't go so well. After being the dominant team last week, Kota looses it's edge and starts bickering amongst themselves. Fang manages to win the reward Challenge and gets some nice bedding and comfort and some much needed confidence. Things aren't completely coming up roses as they are already running low on rice ( I was in shock when I heard that they had thrown out rice after cooking too much) and are starting to panic when thinking about rationing and cutting their meals to 2 per day.There is much trouble in paradise and I don't think that one Immunity Challenge win will necessarily be a huge turn around for them.

Sugar gets sent off to Exile Island (where she manages to follow the clues and find the hidden Immunity Idol -- great work and almost unexpected with all the yammering she was doing) and it all hits the fan at Kota where Paloma and Ace are butting heads like crazy. There is a ton of back and forth with different strategies but in the end Paloma is sent home and hopefully things will look better next week for the team as their biggest negative energy seems to be gone. It's still kind of early in the game but it looks like Ace better watch his ass, people are starting to see him as a threat but I think that Corinne is looking like a real smart player. Not enough Charlie this episode.. hopefully more with him and Marcus next week.