Friday, March 19

Lost Friday - "Recon."


Season 6 - Episode 8: "Recon."

Another Lost Friday is upon us. We have much to discuss, but first, a word from my Anxiety.

If you recall from last week, my cat Rory decided to piss on my living room couch. No matter what we tried, we couldn't seem to get the smell out enough to stop Rory from re-discovering the mark and giving it another go. Finally, we decided to attack the problem head on, and purchase somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 worth of harsh urine cleansers and disinfectants from the local pet supply store.

Following the directions...sort of closely, we then proceeded to pour somewhere in the neighborhood of two gallons of disinfectant into every pore and angstrom of the micro-suede couch. We saturated the damn thing; it's been soaking and untouchable for two full days now. While we wait to see if the chemicals did their job, we're keeping the windows open and spooning on the loveseat. The stench of the cleanser, coupled with the volume used in such close quarters, is giving me a headache every time I set foot in the living room, and the cats have more or less been hallucinating since Monday.

This, as you can assume, is driving me insane. I take pride in a clean house. I sometimes stroll from room to room just to make sure that things are remaining clean, so this urine issue is wrecking havoc on my patience, comfort and blood pressure. Either the disinfectant works and Rory stops using the couch as a toilet, the disinfectant doesn't work and we buy a new couch (and cat), or I die of a heart attack. These are the only possible solutions. Until then, I wait.

The Missus knows to stay out of my way when I get like this. As it was her decision to essentially undermine me and make Rory a member of the household, she knows the onus is on her to make things right. However, this still doesn't take into consideration the fact that I feel completely not-in-control of my house, and I exist merely to clean up after animals and to hell with me being uncomfortable. Part of me has grown accustomed to the fact that she values the well-being of the cats to my own, but another part of me thinks that it's a borderline-insane, selfish behavior befitting of a woman who looks forward to a long life of nothing but taking care of cats.

We're working through it, one compromise at a time...by me. For the time being, my eyes are swollen from the disinfectant, and I watched Lost while sitting on the floor Tuesday night. This also marks perhaps the first time in CDP history where I openly bitched about a squabble between myself and the Missus, which almost certainly makes me look like a jerk, and automatically sides you with her and the cats. It's all good, man; I just wanted to vent a little. Lord knows I'm no picnic to live with, piss-soaked couch or otherwise.

Let's get down to business.

Alternate Timeline (2004):

We start this week's episode with Sawyer doing what he does best...chicks.

We get the sense that his Alternate Timeline story is the same as his last one: Con Man woos woman into selling out her spouse for fun and profit, but NO! Turns out Sawyer has seen the light, and is using his powers of dimple-intoxicated intercourse for the LAPD, as a grifter-gone-good. We find out that his partner at the Department is Miles of all people, the same dude that was his right-hand man for so long on the Island.


("That was one HELL of a Saved By The Bell marathon.")

This got me to thinking. The magic of Lost is in its character depth, a depth so rich and creamy that each person on their own could carry an interesting television show (Locke for sure). However, the one Lost-spinoff I'm absolutely begging for is the Sawyer/Miles Buddy Cop Dramedy. Just think about the endless possibilities: Sawyer is a reformed Con Man who's seeking revenge on the man that destroyed his family. Miles is a wise-cracking Asian that can communicate the thoughts of the dead. It has awesome written all over it; you'd think that the USA Network would jump at the idea in a heartbeat, wedging it somewhere between Psych, White Collar and Burn Notice. Possible titles include:

The Dead Con Back!
Sex Bomb & The Grey Asian
Ford & Toyota


Let's move on.


("Sex Bomb & The Grey Asian: It'll Be Miles Of Fun!")

Back at the police station, James Ford is conducting his hunt for 'Sawyer' in private, refusing to let Miles in on the shenanigans. Miles looks freaking amazing in a bullet-proof vest, and sets Ford up on a blind date, as he doesn't want him to wither up and die alone or something. Sure, because the life of a renegade cop that gets paid to sleep with beautiful women isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Clearly, whoever wrote that episode hasn't been married for six years.

Turns out, James' date is with Charlotte, which I feel is a big step down from being alone.


("You have nothing to be afraid of. I'm just a reincarnated zombie that can manifest myself into the form of black smoke, and I just murdered everyone you've ever known. Please stop crying.")

James works the charm, Charlotte whores it up, and soon they're back at Casa De Garden Level, banging it out on what I can only assume are long-unwashed bachelor sheets. While fishing for a t-shirt with which to hide her pale, English shame, Charlotte stumbles (ie: snoops) upon Ford's 'Sawyer' file, to which Ford finds slightly upsetting, to the point of kicking her bare ass to the curb.

"I hope he got his blanket back," I wondered to myself as we went to commercial.


("Hello, this is James from Charter Communications. I just want to know why you don't think you need to pay your cable bill?")

The next day, James and Miles fight over the way he treated Charlotte, and the fact that Ford has been lying to Miles about his hunt for Sawyer. They break up. That evening, while enjoying the bachelor life with a beer, TV dinner and Little House On The Prairie, James attempts to make it up to Charlotte, who respectfully declines. Furthermore, to have the balls to show up at a woman's doorstep with a sunflower and a six-pack in an attempt to win her back...wow. If I did that, I'd be shot at least twice. Just one of the many advantages of being beautiful, I guess.


("Mmm...tastes like REVENGE!")

The next day, James reveals everything to Miles, and they remain partners on the force. Just then, they're broadsided by a car and give chase. When Ford catches up to the perpetrator, he discovers that it was Kate, the same woman he helped evade LAPD back at the airport.

I then see another commercial for that shrimp taco at Taco Bell, and I poop in my mouth a little bit. I've really got to try this thing, though.


(She's a great catch, if you're into facehuggers.)

Original Timeline (2007):

Sawyer is kicking it at Claire's Old Fashioned Good-Time Cookery And Skull Museum. He gives Jin his word that they will round up Sun before they leave the Island. Just then, Fake Locke and his army of the bearded and relatively unknown set up shop.

Kate brings up the rear, because that's how she likes it. Hey, I just write the facts.


("Do you want me to turn off the lights so your skin doesn't melt?")

Fake Locke tells his followers that they need to keep moving. Cindy wants to know what happened to those who stayed behind at the Temple, and Locke replies that they have been processed into Island Chili. Kate asks Sawyer what he's doing with Locke, to which Sawyer replies that he's not with anyone. In private, Locke tells Sawyer that he's the Smoke Monster, and he gave all those at the Temple a chance to not be killed. Locke and Sawyer share a common bond in that they both want to leave the Island, and they both prefer Blatz over Schlitz.

I prefer Billy.


(Locke: His Pimp Hand is strong.)

Fake Locke sends Sawyer on a recon mission to Hydra Island. Apparently, he knows that there's some bad people over there, and he needs to know what he's dealing with as they form a battle plan to gain control of the Ajira plane and escape the Island. Sawyer is not happy about the potential danger of the situation, but he really wants to go back to the polar bear cage he was locked in and retrieve the box of 'Nilla Wafers he accidentally discarded therein.

Once there, he spots the dress that Kate was made to wear when they were prisoners, and reflects on the time they spent together. I have to say that, on the Grand Scale of things, having sex in an animal cage is about as weird as it gets. I think the weirdest place I've ever had sex was on a waterbed. But hey, Lost Friday isn't about me.


("I'm beautiful! You're the one who's drunk!")

Back at Locke's camp, Kate sits down to chat with Sayid. He's absolutely broken, and doesn't attempt to help when Claire finally goes completely dingoshit and tries to murder her. Locke intervenes, PIMP SLAPS Claire and settles everyone down right proper. Kate goes to cool off, and Claire makes Locke a goddamn sandwich.

On Hydra Island, Sawyer walks into a trap set by Widmore's team. Oops.


(Out of all the ways Sawyer thought he'd die on the Island, runaway airplane was not one of them.)

At Locke's camp, Locke apologizes to Kate and, like he's been doing the entire time, tells her the truth about why Claire wanted to hurt her. He promises to keep everyone safe, and offers to show her where Sawyer is. There, he laments to Kate about living with a crazy mother, and taking a lifetime to work through the pain and suffering; pain and suffering that could have been avoided if things had been different.

I hear you loud and clear, dead man. The yet-unwritten book about my mom is my Retirement Plan.


(James reenacts the cover of Black Flag's Damaged.)

Afterward, Claire seemingly apologizes to Kate for the time being. Something tells me that this isn't the last we'll see of the Kate/Claire/Aaron saga. In fact, I sincerely believe that Claire's going to end up dead at some point in the near future, but that's just me. I've always despised Claire.

Sawyer meets Widmore on the sub, but not before noticing that his crew is setting up anti-Smoke Monster pylons. If they don't explain in borderline-pornographic detail what exactly this thing is, I'm going to renounce this show to anyone who ever asks me about it again. Sawyer and Widmore make a deal: Sawyer leads Fake Locke to Widmore, and Widmore let's Sawyer and his people leave in peace.

They shake hands, and I silently wonder where in the hell Desmond is.


(Claire is actually tearfully hugging her gun; Kate just got in the way.)

When Sawyer gets back to the beach, he's totally honest with Locke about what he told Widmore, as he's true to his word to stay loyal to Locke in exchange for escape from the Island. That night, he explains to Kate that he wants Locke and Widmore to 'fight it out,' and escape with Kate during the ensuing melee.

How either of them plan on navigating a submarine is anyone's guess.

Smash Cut. Episode over.

Well, there you have it, another Lost Friday in the books. Sound off in the comments section, enjoy your weekend, and check out the following links if you get lonely. I'll see you soon.

Season 6 - Episode 1/2.
Season 6 - Episode 3.
Season 6 - Episode 4.
Season 6 - Episode 5.
Season 6 - Episode 6.
Season 6 - Episode 7.
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Surviving 815.

Wednesday, March 17

The CDP's Top 20 Television Themes.



As Television continues to evolve, we see certain trends and ideas come and go. For example, the 21st Century currently sees Television competing with the Internet and TiVo for ratings, advertising revenue and entertaining content (it caused a strike, for Christ's sake). We also see an even split between 'Traditional' and 'Modern' Sitcoms in the case of the Laugh Track and three-camera cinematography.

Something we're also seeing the phasing out of is the Theme Song. Sure, it's still out there, but we've seen it evolve several times over the last 60 years. The initial point of the theme song was to inform viewers that a particular show was about to begin, set a specific mood, and in some cases, actually explain the premise of the program within (see The Beverly Hillbillies, Gilligan's Island, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air). The Television Theme Song, like so many other facets of the medium, has its roots in Radio, where Theme Songs were far more important when it came to letting listeners know what they were listening to.

Today, the Theme Song exists, but it's all over the board, and arguably irrelevant. As networks have squished the number of content minutes per-half hour, many shows have done away with it altogether, as they need the precious time to drive a story along. Other shows seemingly do it as an homage, while others still carry the flag proudly. For those of us you live in an On-Demand household, the Theme Song is generally something you just skip over anyway.

While I personally don't want to frequent a Television landscape that's void of Theme Songs, it seems reasonable to assume that they're only going to get rarer and rarer. Which is what inspired me to sit down and compile a list of my 20 Favorite Television Themes. I chose these for a number of reasons, the most of which was the overall goodness of the tune, juxtaposed with the intro sequence and the show being broadcast. It's a delicate dance, and I feel these 20 shows did it near-perfectly.

Also note that I left out most 'So Bad It's Good' themes, such as Full House, Family Matters, Saved By The Bell and Charles In Charge.

If I could recommend a way to read this list, it would be in a calm, quiet space for about 45 minutes, where you can see all of the clips in their entirety, and take a reasonably-nostalgic trip at the same time. There are plenty I missed, and they're all proportionate to my own tastes, but some of these are absolutely universal.

Let's go!



HONORABLE MENTION - The Twilight Zone



20. Metalocalypse



19. Get A Life



18. The Avengers



17. Mission: Impossible



16. The Greatest American Hero



15. Dallas



14. Friday Night Lights



13. Twin Peaks



12. Magnum, P.I.



11. Hawaii 5.0



10. Malcolm In The Middle



9. Aqua Teen Hunger Force



8. The Flintstones



7. Unsolved Mysteries



6. Knight Rider



5. Tales From The Crypt



4. The Kids In The Hall



3. The Adventures Of Pete & Pete



2. The Wonder Years



1. Mystery Science Theater 3000

I'm outta here. Lost Friday arrives in less than 48 hours.

Monday, March 15

The CDP Worldwide Mix-Tape Trade 7 Drawing.



It's go time, kids!

After extensive laboring, uploading E-mail addresses and building one of those spinny-wheels with the Bingo balls in them, I have come up with the 25 pairings for the CDP Worldwide Mix-Tape Trade 7. Everyone who signed up has someone that they will create a Mix-Tape for, and in tune, they have someone who will make one for them.

The pairings are as follows. The drawing was random; a friend picked a number, and I eliminated the names, 'MASH'-style. I don't think kids still play 'MASH,' but that's neither here nor there:

1. BENJAMIN will be creating a Mix for SMEDLEY.
2. SMEDLEY will be creating a Mix for ANDREA.
3. BLUSTACON will be creating a Mix for KENNY.
4. ERIC will be creating a Mix for REESE.
5. WALLROCK will be creating a Mix for TJ.
6. UK JOHN will be creating a Mix for FIONA.
7. BRIAN will be creating a Mix for SHERRY.
8. LEVI will be creating a Mix for CELIA.
9. MIKE HOSS will be creating a Mix for HILBELINK.
10. MIKE I. will be creating a Mix for HEATHER.
11. MATT will be creating a Mix for EMILY.
12. EPHLAND will be creating a Mix for CARGIRL.
13. CELIA will be creating a Mix for EPHLAND.
14. SHERRY will be creating a Mix for MATT.
15. FIONA will be creating a Mix for MIKE I.
16. TJ will be creating a Mix for MIKE HOSS.
17. ANDREA will be creating a Mix for LEVI.
18. KENNY will be creating a Mix for BRIAN.
19. REESE will be creating a Mix for UK JOHN.
20. HILBELINK will be creating a Mix for WALLROCK.
21. CAITLIN will be creating a Mix for ERIC.
22. HEATHER will be creating a Mix for BLUSTACON.
23. EMILY will be creating a Mix for THE CDP.
24. CARGIRL will be creating a Mix for BENJAMIN.
25. THE CDP will be creating a Mix for CAITLIN.

Wonderful. Here's what we all do next:

1. I will be sending e-mails out to everyone today (give me until late evening; I won't be home from the Twin Cities until the afternoon), reminding them who's creating a Mix-Tape for whom, and what that person's e-mail address is. For example, your e-mail from me will look a lot like this:

"Ben, Ryan is making a Mix-Tape for you. His e-mail address is communistdance@yahoo.com. Please contact him and give him your mailing address."

2. It will then be up to the future recipient of the Mix-Tape to contact the creator and give them their physical mailing address. For example:

"Ryan, it's Ben. I'm looking forward to your mix-tape; my address is blah-bloo-blee."

3. One you get the mailing address of the person you're sending a Mix-Tape to, MAKE IT AND SEND IT! Be creative; I've seen amazing artwork, brilliant track selections and overall awesome efforts by everyone every time, so I'm expecting nothing less this time around, as well. Remember that the theme of the Trade is 'Your New Favorite Band,' so create your best Greatest Hits collection and get to work!

Everyone has a buddy; it would really suck if someone gets left out because you suddenly decided to go deadbeat on them. The deadline is to have ALL MIX-TAPES MAILED OUT BY MONDAY, MARCH 29. Now that you know who you're making a Mix for, you should have plenty of time to whip it up and get it mailed out within two full weeks. If someone gets left out, I'll feel personally responsible, so please don't make an ass out of me, or I'll publicly ostracize you here on the CDP. I've seen too many people create wonderful pieces of art and get nothing in return, so...don't do that, please.

4. If you're having a problem contacting anyone, an e-mail address is dead or anything else goes wrong, feel free to contact me immediately and I'll sort it out. I'm pretty neat like that. Remember though that people are busy, so give them a day or two to answer you back, but let me know if it's taking a ludicrous amount of time.

Of course, once you receive your Mix-Tape, sound off in the comments section so we all know the status of everyone's packages. Half the fun is sharing the experience with everyone involved.

5. I always mention this (and I'll mention it again in your e-mail), but if you're looking for an easy way to thank me for inventing something as uniting and awesome as the Worldwide Mix-Tape Trade, I would love a copy of your mix. My mailing address is as follows:

theCDP
PO Box 865
Sun Prairie, WI
53590

Like I said when we announced the Trade, any mixes that make it to Headquarters by the end of March will be entered into a contest as I search for my 'New Favorite Band,' and if I choose your Mix as my favorite, I'll send you a FREE CDP T-SHIRT! Simple as that! Send one my way!

You should be receiving your instructional e-mails by the end of the day today (Monday). So get out there, create a rad Mix-Tape and send it off to your partner before Monday, March 29th!