Friday, April 27, 2007

If Lost were like 24


I'll be honest, I used to love 24. I watched the second season religiously, taping it with a VCR if I was going to miss it, and re-hashing each episode with friends afterward. I had a few gripes with the way it was going, but for the most part I really enjoyed it. It was my first real taste of addictive serialized television. When the 3rd season started, I was super excited and waited with anticipation for the season to begin. I watched the few first weeks, and then I just quit watching. I’m not 100% sure why, but I think some of the gripes I had became more pronounced or the cumulative effect of the things I didn’t like continuing over a long period finally got to me.

Currently, I am a big fan of Lost (and Heroes), and despite not having a lot of patience for filler episodes, I’m guessing I’ll see this one through to the bitter end (or the zombie season, whichever comes first). This season, perhaps not so much lately, there’ve been some complaints about the direction of the show and some of the decisions they’ve made, and I agree with some of them to an extent. But I was thinking the other day that thankfully Lost isn’t directed the way 24 is, and thought of giving some examples of the way Lost would have gone if it was run like 24.

1) The survivors would have fought and defeated the Others, tamed the smoke monster, made it off the island and back to Sydney mid-way through season One, and would now be fighting aliens.

24 burns through plot lines before they ever have a chance to develop. Lost has kind of the opposite problem where we heard that Walt was special a couple years back and maybe by Season 6 we’ll hear why, assuming they even remember to address it.

2) Charlie would have killed approximately 75 Others by now.

By Desmond’s count, Charlie’s killed more of them they have of him. If this were 24, Charlie would have reacted to being strung up in a tree, not just by killing Ethan before we could get any answers of out him, but he would have crossed the island and unloaded clip after clip into random no-name Others.

Side note: Who is actually physically larger, Kiefer Sutherland or Dominic Monaghan? IMDB lists ex-hobbit Monaghan at 5’ 7”, while burly Jack Bauer comes in at a decidedly unthreatening 5’ 9½”. Any time some whose age isn’t counted in months includes ½ inches in their height, you know they’re lying.

3) The survivors would have had 6 leaders by now, each one in turn, turning out to be working for the Others.

Pretty much every season, whoever is running CTU turns out to be in cahoots with the bad guys. You’d think they have worked out a better background check process by now.

4) There would be a side plot where Claire and Kate fight over who gets to date Hurley.

I tried to come up with a set of Lost characters to mirror this scenario, but as far as I can tell only pretty women are allowed on the island. Maybe it’s one of its mysterious properties. On an episode of 24 this season, two male CTU employees were cat-fighting over Chloe, network television’s least attractive romantic female lead. Meanwhile, a much more attractive new hire at CTU goes unnoticed. All I know of all the things that don’t make sense on CTU, men fighting over Chloe ranks right near the top.

5) Every season the Survivors would manage to defeat the Smoke Monster and the Others, only to find out in the next season that there is yet another batch of Others on a different part of the island and that there are yet more Smoke Monsters.

Do terrorist have any tactics that don’t involve nuclear explosions?

6) The President – or one of his staff – would be behind it all.

I don't have a problem with conspiracy theories involving high-level government officials, but is anyone else capable of masterminding a nuclear explosion who doesn't work at the White House?

7) Jack, Kate, and Sawyer would have escaped back to the beach in the first segment of the first episode of Season Three.

I realize that they are now all back at the beach as Season Three comes to a close, but had this happened on 24, the first few minutes of the new season would have involved Jack, Kate, and Sawyer easily escaping as the Others simply left them unattended at the dock with bags on their heads. By far my biggest gripe with 24 was that there was always no-way-out cliffhangers every week that were resolved way to simply in the first moments of the next episode. The plane with Jack and Nina in it is shot down by missiles? No problem, our main characters survive without a scratch and only people we’ve never met die.

Prison Break took this to a whole new level, throwing in outlandish cliffhangers and their resultant resolutions at nearly every commercial break. Prison guard found your escape hole? No worries, when we return you’ll find out that actually one of our escapees is standing right behind him with a shovel.

8) Charlie could never have gotten high and Paulo would have had nothing to do.

Why? Because on 24, no one ever uses the bathroom. :)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Smells like young adult spirit

Last night, I was able to make it to the last hour of a Mos Def concert at the U (he only made it for the last hour and fifteen). It was a pretty interesting show, given that a) he's a socially conscious rapper, b) this was in Salt Lake City, Utah, and c) his music is pretty laid-back.

Anyway, we had a good time and it was definitely worth the $5 the tickets cost (for students). I think my favorite part was walking into the crowd and saying, "Hmmm...smells like college."

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I'VE GOT 2 the Megaplex?

Anyone who's attended a sporting event where the cost of admission is more than free, has probably seen ticket scalpers offering "2 down low" or asking if anyone's "got tickets?" I always try to get these two people to talk to each as they are often standing right next to each other. Not sure what their deals is. (I'm kidding of course. If YOU don't know, I'll tell you sometime).

But how often have you ever been a movie on opening night only to find out that either a) the movie is sold out, or b) there's already a huge line of people waiting to get in. Its times like these, that it might be worth dropping a few extra bucks to jump to the front of the line, or to get some reserved seats that aren't on the very front row. Speaking of the front row, how can it be legal to let people sit that close to a gigantic screen? If sitting too close to a TV hurts our eyes, I can't imagine what kind of damage you suffer sitting 5 feet from a gigantic movie screen.

In the same vein, why does every seat at every movie cost the same amount? I realize that there are such things as matinees and dollar movies, but really what I'm saying is, should the first row of seats cost the same as better seats in the middle? and additionally, how can they charge the same price for a movie that cost $10 million to make as they charge for a movie that cost $200 million to make? Or even more to the point, some movies are crappy. If Shawn and Marlon Wayans make a movie, it shouldn't cost as much to see that as it costs to see a good movie. It almost seems unfair to make you pay the same amount to see a movie that's obviously gong to be terrible (anything starring Rob Schneider for example) as something that looks to be really good (anything starring Will Smith).

Movie theaters are the only place that works on this weird economy that I can think of, except maybe public transit (although bad seats on the bus are more about who you are sitting next to). The performing arts has determined that some seats are better than others. Sports entertainment has pricing based on seating, and also on the level of play. NBA games cost more than college games, and college games in turn cost more than high school games, generally.

I'm sure there's some kind of time honored system that makes this whole weird movie pricing phenomenon work, but it always makes me scratch my head.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Hey! Don't I Know You?

I'm sure you've all been in this situation before. Across the room, you notice someone who you remember from your past. Maybe they were in a class with you, or you met them at a conference, or they went to your church congregation. You recognize them, and maybe even remember their name. Then you wonder, "Do they remember me?" and then you wonder whether you should go up to them and say hi or not.

For some reason, this happens to me all the time. Partly, I've known a lot of different people in my time in Salt Lake and, for the most part, us singles tend to move around a lot, so you get a chance to run into people you haven't seen in a while fairly regularly. Secondly, I enjoy getting to know people and know about them, what they do and where they are from and what not; which, in turn, helps me to remember them. Finally, I also have been blessed with a pretty good memory. Lately, my short-term memory is starting to not be quite as sharp (I find myself needing to write things down more often), but I'm still pretty good at hanging on to things once they make it into my long-term memory.

Anyway, I find myself in the situation of seeing people that I've known in the past quite often. And often times, I happen to know quite a bit about these people. I almost never assume that people are going to remember me, and if they do, its more in a "I think I remember you from my ward" kind of way. I, on the other hand, often remember quite a bit about these people. So, usually, I pretend that I don't remember much about them either, because I think it would probably be pretty weird for someone you barely recognize to come up and know everything about you. I mean I think people will probably get a little creeped out and think that I've been stalking them or at the very least was overly interested in them at some point. And thats not the case, at least the stalking part. Occasionally I'll run into some girl that I'd had a crush on, but thats not the norm. I just remember things about people. And then later I pretend I don't know those things. Is that weird?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Back to Work

Hey, I'm back from San Antonio where I had a great time with my family. You can see some pictures if you click on this photo:


It was great to spend a week with my family and its good to be back at home as well.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Can you say adobe?


That's right I'm off to San Antonio to visit the Alamo (sans basement) and also my niece and her parents, along with my whole family. Should be good times. I'm sure I'll have tons of digital evidence to post on Flickr when I get back in about a week.