Fairy Tales and Survivor

Survivor, the reality TV series is in its 34th season. Yes, 34 and among my social circles, I’m one of the very few who still watches it. Most of my dearest and nearest can’t quite understand and wonder why I still do.

Well, it’s because it’s really like real life. Every season I watch it going, “OMG that’s exactly what happens in the office or on the roads to at a sale in a department store.” In the TV series, I get why these contestants can get ruthless, they could possibly get a million dollars at the end. In my real life, I don’t understand why some people can be the worst version of themselves for the most insignificant of rewards. Maybe for them, it may not be a million dollars but enough to throw human decency out of the window.

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But but but every so often there will be a season that makes me realise in Survivor or real life, good guys do and can win. Not often, just enough and that’s all I need. The world IS filled with shitheads and douchebags. I’ve even had the unfortunate opportunity to be acquainted with some of them but I don’t live for them and all the toxicity they bring.

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I live for the fairy tale moments shared between kind, compassionate souls. And truth be told, even shitheads and douchebags are capable of them and those are the moments, the good days that make everything else worth while. Like the last episode of Survivor: Game Changers, the moment when crazily competitive contestants let a Mama goat and her kid go and choosing not to kill them for food. I never thought I’d ever see it on Survivor. When I did, my heart warmed up and knew at the end of the day decent humanity will always triumph.

 

The Little Mermaid

I remember being 14 and loving this movie.  Little did I know, I’d actually build a career around animation.

My slightly more than 2 and a half year old godson, Christian recently saw it for the first time and Under the Sea is what he’s got the beat for nowadays.  So during our date yesterday, he and I watched it together.  Despite being 27 years old, The Little Mermaid doesn’t feel dated at all.  Still made me do a little jig, root for Ariel and wish I could be a mermaid.

In 2037, I hope when people watch the reruns of Insectibles, they’ll feel the same way 🙂

 

Why I don’t Hate Skyler White?

Yes, I’ve finally finished watching Breaking Bad.  It is now one of my favourite TV series but before I decide with series to bump off my top 10 list, I’m trying to understand why everyone hates Skyler White so much?  I actually get her, her anger and how she had to dig deep, her frustrations with her husband’s runaway ego and having to make sacrifices for her family.  That’s what Mothers do.  Not wives, nope, wives don’t do that, just the Mums.  I’m not Mum yet but I have an amazing one and surrounded with so many other great ones who would struggle the same way to keep everything together for their kids.

That said, I totally get Walt too. SPOILER ALERT!!  Stop reading if you haven’t watched the series.  I loved how Walt transformed, understood his motivations and loved that he had to face the consequences of making the decisions he thought was best for his family.  I loved how he thought money would be what his family needs and the last season saw him and his barrel of millions trapped in a lonely cabin on the mountains.  I think it happens to the best and worst of us, in our pursuit to provide for our families, we often forget that our families would rather give up all the material things for quality time spent together.

As a TV series, Breaking Bad is pretty much up there with The West Wing for me.  I love the script, the way the characters developed, the actors’ impeccable performance and most of all, I loved how the creators wrapped it up.  Fulfilling and believable.  I can’t wait for my next Breaking Bad marathon.  In the meantime, tonight I’m going to catch up on The Walking Dead.  3 more episodes and I’d be all ready for the the return of Season 4.  All I have to say right now is that I’m more scared of people than I am of zombies :p

Binge TV Watching

I’ve been quiet the last couple of weeks since I came home from Canada because my husband was still in Canada.  What that means is that I’ve been binge TV watching the rest of August away.  Yes, other people binge eat or drink.  I watch ALOT of TV when I’m left to my own devices.  It didn’t help when I went over to my sister’s for a week because we’re both binge TV watchers :p

I’m happy to report I’m pretty much caught up with the shows I’ve been avoiding because in the 21st century, I no longer have the patience to wait for weekly episodes.  I avoid news of TV shows until they are all over and then watch them all in one go.

This post is about the life lessons I’ve learnt from my current binge TV watching session.

Game of Thrones and Downtown Abbey have reminded me that the universe can be very cruel.  The moment you fall in love, it usually gets taken away from you.  It seems like as soon as I get attached to a character in either shows, they die.  I’m not sure what to expect in Season 4.  I’m afraid to root for anyone because they may die too but like life, better to have love and lost than not to love at all, I say.  So Jon Snow and Old Lady Grantham, I’m rooting for you both now.  Something tells me Old Lady Grantham has a better chance to surviving into Season 5 of Downton Abbey than Jon Snow in the Game of Thrones Season 5.  We’ll see.

The Americans is a new series about Russian undercover spies living in suburbia America during the Cold War.  Together with the eighth season of Criminal Minds, I don’t know who I can trust anymore.  Real life does inspire reel life.  So with these somewhat unimaginable murders that happen in both series, I’m starting to wonder about my ‘American’ neighbours next door and the seemingly quiet software developer geek in my office.  If you don’t hear from me soon, you should call the police >__O

Meanwhile, Keri Russell has redeemed herself in my books.  I was one of those who got irritated with Felicity.  It was a pretty show to watch but man, Felicity just whined and whined and whined but as Elizabeth Jennings, she’s actually not bad at all.

Another new series is Orphan Black, produced by BBC America (what that means I don’t even understand) it’s science fiction that made me a fan of Canadian actress, Tatiana Maslany.  She plays like 6 roles in the series.  It made me think how some days I feel like my life is just like that.  Having to be very different people in very different situations just so other people can understand me.  I’m not quite a clone yet but there was just about enough intrigue in Season 1 for me to look out for Season 2.  I also like the completely different look it had.  Compared to the usual Hollywood overly slick TV series look, Orphan Black had a flatter look that made you wonder about the nondescript city it’s set in.

Then I finally got around to The Good Wife.  I’m a fan of Alicia and have been rooting for her.  Actually I’m a bigger fan of Dianne Lockhart but for this season, Alicia is giving her a run for her money in my books.  The legal cases are a little far fetched but I love the hard choices these characters have to face.  Truth be told, they aren’t too unlike the ones I know my friends and I face in our lives.  That’s what I can’t wait with Season 5, does Alicia stay true to constantly wanting to be a better version of herself.  Excite!! *clap clap*

In the meantime, I’ve started on Revolution, another science fiction series that I hope will be more satisfying than Lost or Heroes.  Come September 18, I’ll be back on Survivor watch too.  There really isn’t enough time for all the TV I want to watch :p  With my husband back in town, it will back to regular programming … that means maybe an episode or two a week.

Till my next binge.

Season 23: Survivor South Pacific

I would win this game if I decided to play it.

Survivor is like life but really it isn’t.  39 days and a million dollars.  That is not life.  Life is way more than just 39 days and it isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about how you live your life, the experiences you share and the journeys that make you who you are at the end of the road.

Survivor is just 39 days and all about winning a million dollars.

Sure, you could play survivor for the experience then please don’t complain when players get ruthless.  They ARE playing a game.

Which brings me back to the fact, if I ever decide to play this game.  I’m going to be all Russell and play for the win but hopefully with a little more charm so that people still vote for me in the end.  It’s a crazy balance, which is what I LOVE about the show.  Can people actually balance that? Can I actually do it?  I’d like to think that’s where my theatre degree can help.  Is it possible to play a part for 24 hours everyday for 39 days and not crack?  Hell yah, if I had all my creature comforts but with the camping and battling challenges, I’d have to say I’m not sure.

So yes, if you asked me today, nope, I can’t play survivor.  If the day ever came that I can say yes, I’m going in to seriously play the game.  I’d create a whole role who’s main objective is to be liked and win a million dollars.  Honestly, you can’t really do that without some level of deceit.  Even my ultimate survivor Yul, couldn’t play the game without being completely honest.  Real life isn’t a game.  Well to me at least.

For now, it’s back to real life where I try my darnest at treating people how I would like to be treated.  Doing that in Survivor, I’d probably be the 4th person voted out of the island 🙂  Here’s me living vicariously through Season 23.

Parenthood

No siree, I’m not a mother … not yet anyway.  Meanwhile, I’m watching a new drama series – Parenthood.  Think Brothers and Sisters with little people.  I guess it’s speaking to me on various levels … mostly, reflecting on the job my parents did on my sister and me.  I’ve always known I’ve got cool parents, a lot of people, my friends and cousins included would agree.  By most standards, they would win the Best Parents award hands down but I never realised their uber coolness until they became parents-in-law.

Being an in-law is tough and being a parent-in-law takes grace and elegance that I’m so grateful I can learn from while watching my parents in action.  One has no choice to love your own children and you have a chance of molding them into little you but with children-in-laws, you had no part in their upbringing and you actually don’t have to love them.  So when I watch my parents and my husband, I can’t help but be amazed at the patience they extend to each other, the open minds to learn from one another and the open hearts to be the best support they can be.

Times like these I don’t know if I have what it takes to be a parent – the ability to love unconditionally and be the safety net so that your children and children-in-law alike can have the freedom to make the choices you never had the luxury to do.  Lord knows I have big shoes to fill when I do become a parent 🙂

Thank you HEAPS Daddy and Mummy!!!  Love you both LOTS LOTS LOTS 🙂

Harper’s Island

Yes, I followed this series.  I do have a serious love for murder mysteries and remember relishing Agatha Christie’s mini series when I was growing up.  Who can forget Hercule Poirot, right?  So when I first saw the trailers, I thought, this could be a 21st century take on a good old fashion genre.  I was wrong though.  Beautifully shot but it’s no Agatha Christie, not by a long shot.

It’s Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer for TV.  So yes, I was disappointed but after investing 3 episodes worth of time, that’s how long I usually give a series, I wanted to know who the killer was.  Yes yes yes, I’m a murder mystery junkie.  I had series recording and caught it when there was nothing else on TV.

I’m not waiting for the DVD on this but I really enjoyed how well it was shot, especially when I read that it was done mostly on location.  When you don’t have as much control as you would in a set, it takes a pretty talented DOP (Director of Photography … that’s Hollywood’s fancy name for the main man behind the cameras) to get it looking the way the series did.  From bright romantic pre wedding scenes to chilling prey being chased by the predator sequences, pretty textbook stuff but I have to say it could have easily been messed up had it not been for the experienced Robert McLachlan.  So thanks to him, there was one or two things I managed to learn from the series.  All was not lost 🙂

Entourage Season 5

When I first got a hold of Entourage Season 1, I didn’t think I would be quite this enraptured about a group of boys living in Hollywood.  One, I’m usually not too fond when boys get together and egg each other on and two, despite working in the media scene … actually it’s completely because I work in the media scene, if it is one place I rather not be, it is Hollywood.  Yet, Vincent Chase and his friends have managed to hold my interest for all 5 seasons … so much so, I dare say it’s going to be in my list of top 10 TV series for all time.

I guess I’ve always been interested in stories about friendship and knowing how the media industry work, it is kinda entertaining watching the TV series take a mickey out of the very industry that gave birth to it.  Over the 5 seasons, I’ve grown to be attached to the antics of the boys and actually enjoy how the producers get the likes of Martin Scorcese, Gus Vant Sant and even Olympic Swimmer, Michael Phleps to make cameos.

Mark Walberg definitely made good on this 🙂  In truth though, knowing Hollywood, I don’t know how much was actually him and how much of it belongs to a bunch of un-named talents.  My favourite talent from the show though, has to be Jeremy Priven.  I’ve liked him from the days of Ellen where he played her cousin but as the epitome of Hollywood agents, Ari Gold, Jeremy is ass kickin good.  So it was such a real treat to stumble on their shoot while I was LA 2 years ago 🙂  Despite my fan girl moment, I managed to keep my cool :p  He is such a cutey so he can yell at me anytime 🙂

Now that the DVD collection of season 5 is out, I say go get it, everyone.  If for nothing else, to let you in on how ridiculous Hollywood can get.

There’s No Good TV

Over the last weekend, I caught up on TV as I puppywatched. Watched season 4 of Grey’s Anatomy, finished the last season of The West Wing and caught an episode of the new 90210.

All I can say is TV today is lacking quite a bit. Other than The West Wing, GA and 90210 left much to be desired. GA has been stealing medical cases from House!! Symptoms and even the conclusions of curing them are verbatim from House!! Talk about ripping off ideas. So we don’t only do in Singapore, it happens in LA too!!

Talk about lame. And do not get me started on 90210, it’s lame TV beyond words. The production quality is bad and the acting … heaven forbid that they’ve allowed such acting on screen. What in the world is happening to TV drama? And teen drama at that, at least the only terrible thing about the original 90210 was the styling.

Although, McDreamy and McSteamy are totally worth the story rip offs 🙂 So yes, I’ll be on the look out for season 5 but 90210, I’ll be happier catching the reruns.

Survivor: Cook Island Episode 10 – The Mutiny

That has to be my favourite episode in reality TV history. No one could have possibly planned it like that. I always hoped that there’s going to be a DVD release of the season coz I’ll get it for sure. Earlier today I found the clips of the episode on Youtube, and it’s still as fun to watch. So I had to write about it.

Other than HM, I don’t think anyone was as crazy about that season as I was. So this is one for you too, HM 🙂 I know it’s all TV and everything but that very episode was just a reflection of how things can go right when you do right by yourself … … even if it is a bit of TV fantasy 😉