Friday, October 19, 2007

The New TV Season - Part One - Eh

That's been my reaction to most of the new shows this season. I was really looking forward to many of them, although part of me was a little skeptical of all the 'supernatural' type shows. Was it an attempt to give the viewers something new and different or just jumping on the Lost and Heroes bandwagon. No surprise. Most of them left me flat.

Bionic Woman while a remake, which is always suspect, does give a better starting premise for how Jamie Somers becomes bionic. And there are some real issues for her to deal with. But Michelle Ryan has about three expressions she uses throughout. And all are overblown. So, no.

Life seemed like a good premise. A cop who was framed for a murder is given life in prison, but is released after his appeal goes through 15 years later. He gets a huge settlement for wrongful imprisonment, but still goes back to work as a detective. Zen aphorisms pour forth throughout the day. But---dun, dun, daaaaaaaaa---he's really spending his spare time trying to find out who framed him. Again, the overacting really ruined this one for me. Damien Lewis mugs to the camera. Now I was predisposed against him since he played Soames in The Forsyte Saga, but he did a great job in that. Just not here. And the spunky, younger, female partner who is assigned to him as a punishment but we all know will end up in love with him is just one cliche' too many.

Journeyman doesn't stay in one place long enough for the audience to connect with anyone. Since the main character doesn't know what's happening to him, we're just as confused as he is. This is an example of why protagonists who are active are more interesting than those who are acted upon.

There are also a lot of non-supernatural shows starting this season, too. A lot of those that I've watched also fall into the eh category.

Big Shots is the male version of Desperate Housewives. Don't care about the 'trials and tribulations' of rich, beautiful women. The men aren't any more sympathetic or interesting.

Kid Nation raised so much controversy that I did give in and watch the first episode because it sounded like it was so different from the Survivor/Big Brother kind of reality show (which I can't stand--no offense meant to those who enjoy them). Nope. While the kids were busy working things out for themselves, the producers kept inserting themselves through books with hints and then having them split up the town into four groups and then having a contest to determine who gets to be in which social class. So, Survivor with children without the voting off.

Cane has another interesting premise. Cuban-Americans running a sugar and rum business in South Florida. Lots of attractive people enjoying their money. Of course there is the ick factor of Jimmy Smits' character being married to his adoptive sister. This one I might actually watch, but I read from nine until ten and it wasn't quite compelling enough to tape and watch on Saturday. Maybe on DVD later.

I don't generally watch sitcoms so I won't be talking about those. And I still haven't watched Viva Laughlin or Samantha Who? so those will have to wait. Stay tuned for the ones I liked--there were a couple.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Want vs. Need

In my first marketing class back in college we learned that marketing is about taking wants and turning them into perceived needs. I believe the quote was "Because we know that no one really needs three pairs of red shoes" to which I responded "Of course you do--flats, mid-heels, and high heels." Apparently, marketing had been very successful with me.

Then in one of my accounting classes, we talked about money management. In order to create and stick to a budget, you have to identify what your real needs are. You may really want something, but that doesn't mean you need it. In this case, need trumps want.

A few years after I was out of school, I read an article about managing stress. It stated that there are certain words that contribute to our feelings of stress. These include should, ought and need. Need as in "I need to write two chapters today." Instead, it's less stressful to think, "I want to write two chapters today." Only slightly because two chapters after a full day of work....

Anyway, I've been thinking a bit about want vs. need when it comes to my writing. Because I do feel a need to write. And I don't think that's a bad thing. As a matter of fact, I think it's something that is true for each and every one of the Rogue Pirates (of Snickerdoodle). [Aside: I'm listening to an old radio play on i-Tunes and it's about pirates--arrrr] This is something we have to do. But when I write in my morning pages that I need to write x amount, I do feel a tightening across my shoulders. If I write that I want to accomplish x, the tightness doesn't show up.

So, do you need to write? Do you want to write? Is there a difference? Do you think it would matter if you set goals as things you want to accomplish as opposed to need?