Let's roll some dice, watch some movies, or generally just geek out. New posts at 6:30 pm ET but only if I have something to say. Menu at the top. firstname.lastname@example.org on Mastodon and @gsllc on Twitter.
Sundays are lazy days for me. Sometimes I post other people’s work. Sometimes, something silly. Usually both. Well, there’s nothing sillier than this. I post today only because this will become my 200th consecutive daily post. I’ve pulled this shit before, posting just to say that I’m continuing what would become a 374 day streak, but I post this to say my streak is ending. Very meta.
Okay, fine. Because you’re here, I should probably give you a stupid meme. Here’s one.
Nice mashup of two things I love. It’s not as if I had something important to say for most of the 199 before it (short of some of these).
Last week, I shared a random memory of a Tonight Show interview. Today is an interview from Joan Rivers’ Late Show. The link should take you to the relevant part, which is at 5:35. Here, Dave discusses the split with Van Halen and the fallout from it.
Side note: The fact that Rivers took this gig created a personal rift with Johnny Carson.
What I remember about this is that Van Halen — Eddie in particular — was deeply critical of Dave in the press, and Dave always took the high ground. For a while anyway. A couple months after this interview, I heard a snippet from another interview on the radio. Paraphrasing to the best of my recollection (which, based on these posts, is pretty good), Dave’s response to Van Halen was, “Well, I’m out here forging the future, and Van Halen is still living in the pasture.”
Still, I took Dave’s side in the mess because he didn’t fight back until Van Halen pushed him over the edge. Of course, I don’t know any of these guys, so I never really cared about their personal battles. I just knew that they were both producing music I loved, so the breakup worked out great for me.
As a reminder, one of only 14 concerts I’ve ever seen was Hagar and Roth’s joint tour.
Everyone insists they have a good memory, but our brains form fake memories all the time. I’ve used YouTube to test my memory quite often and found that my long-term memory is pretty accurate. The weird thing about my memory is that I sometimes remember things as a mirror image of the way they were. That is, if I remember footage from a TV show where person A is on the left and person B is on the right, their positions are swapped. However, I remember incredible detail about everything else in the footage. Here was a random memory that popped into my head when my cousin shared some footage from Saturday Night Fever. It’s an interview on the Tonight Show with Sylvester Stallone and John Travolta promoting the sequel to Saturday Night Fever, Staying Alive.
And part II.
I remembered almost every minute detail of this interview, and because it’s the Tonight Show, I didn’t reverse the image in my head. The host is always on the right side of the screen, and it’s impossible for a healthy brain to forget that.
Unfortunately, my short-term memory is beginning to suffer, and I sometimes have trouble getting words out when speaking. I also have some difficulty forming new memories. As Kareem Said said on Oz, “Life is balance.” I guess I had this coming, but you can imagine how frustrating that is for someone who historically forgets nothing. While I could stand to lose a lot of childhood and young-adulthood memories, I hope the cognitive decline remains slow.
Yesterday, I blasted a Paramount Plus offering, Scorpion. Today, I bounce back a little bit to tell you that Paramount+ has become my favorite streaming service. The content is just fantastic.
As you must know by now, I’m a Star Trek junkie; a complete apologist for the franchise. Even when I don’t like it, I like it. I just can’t help it. Perhaps there’s one exception, but that remains to be seen. Paramount+ has all the Trek I could ever want and more, so that certainly factors into my opinion.
That said, they have some pretty remarkable original content. Mayor of Kingstown with Jeremy Renner was a slow burn to (IIRC) episode 7 of season 1, but then it exploded, and so far, season 2 hasn’t let up. (Note: Episode 4 of season 1 was phenomenal.) Tulsa King with Sylvester Stallone is also superb. And then there’s these guys.
It’s CBS, so it’s unsurprising that there are also tons of shows and movies, new and old, that should pique your interests. There are some periods of time (e.g., law school) during which I couldn’t spend a lot of time on television. As a result, I missed a lot of series that people swear by as brilliant television. Paramount+ gives me the opportunity to watch many of them. Needless to say, my “My List” is huge on Paramount+. As always, YMMV.
Now, how can I get CBS to pay me for this advertising?
I have a really annoying habit. Actually, I have several, but this one annoys me. I have to finish what I start. In the context of this post, it means that, once I’ve set my mind to binging the entire run of a television show, I can’t stop until I’m finished no matter how bad the show is. That’s what happened with Scorpion.
Scorpion aired on CBS from 2014-2017, and now you can watch it on demand on Paramount Plus. It centered on a team of underachieving, supra-geniuses who finally get their big break when the Department of Homeland Security designates them a contractor. It started off well enough, and the ratings were some of the best CBS enjoyed during its run. One executive referred to it as “our Big Bang Theory, but as a drama.” However, by season four, the ratings were terrible, and despite a cult following and a tense cliffhanger to end season four, the show was cancelled.
The show was wildly unrealistic. As anyone with a physics degree, a first career in software engineering, and a current career as an attorney can tell you, most shows are. I have no problem with that. You have to enter into any television show or movie with a certain suspension of disbelief, and I’m happy to do so for the sake of drama. After all, despite not being a comics reader, I’m a huge fan of the MCU and DCEU. What could be less realistic?
But this show dives into many different branches of science, and it gets them all terribly wrong. Moreover, while each episode presents a preexisting peril to be solved, while addressing the peril, the Scorpion team members always make things worse, and usually in the most ridiculous or unrealistic of ways. It’s terrible writing that eventually grates on the viewer. Sharks don’t act that way. Computers don’t act that way. Gravity doesn’t act that way. How is it that you’re always getting your jacket caught right before you have to make a getaway? You’ve been on a deserted island for three weeks; how are you all so clean, and why is Cabe still wearing a suit and tie?
As the charm of the show tends to wane, there’s little left to keep the viewer interested. But I have to say, if there were a season five, I’d have watched it.
I had a random memory pop in my head last week. During the early part of its run, my favorite show was the Six Million Dollar Man (1973-1978). Lee Majors played the titular Steve Austin. I also loved its spinoff, The Bionic Woman (1976-1978). The origin of the latter was a sad and frustrating one. The bionics screwed with Jaime Sommers’s body and seemingly killed her. The premise of the show was that she was somehow saved but lost all memory of her romantic relationship with Steve Austin.
Like most of society, I lost interest in the shows as I grew up, but when they announced an upcoming made-for-TV movie bringing back the characters, I was moderately intrigued. It was a huge part of my childhood that wasn’t that far removed from (what was then) the present day. I don’t remember watching the first one, The Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman (1987), but I do remember seeing the second one, Bionic Showdown: The Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman (1989) with an unknown Sandra Bullock playing the next generation of bionic human.
What stood out in my memory of that show was that Jaime Sommers’s memories had returned, and at the end of the second movie, she interrupted his proposal of marriage to propose to him. Even though I remember not liking the movie, I remember being happy with the resolution. Why? I don’t know. They’re make-believe characters, and they’re not part of a series I was currently watching, so their relationship meant nothing the second the final credits rolled. But humans are weird like that, and their failure to connect even upon her resurrection for the Bionic Woman was disappointing.
There was a third movie, Bionic Ever After?, but I’m sure I never saw it. By 1994, I had more important things to do.
As of this writing, Lee Majors and Lindsay Wagner are still going strong at 83 and 73 years old respectively.