Ef You Treyarch...

The Ghosts of My Life

Don Draper:

When a man walks into a room, he brings his whole life with him. He has a million reasons for being anywhere, just ask him. If you listen, he’ll tell you how he got there. How he forgot where he was going, and that he woke up. If you listen, he’ll tell you about the time he thought he was an angel or dreamt of being perfect. And then he’ll smile with wisdom, content that he realized the world isn’t perfect. We’re flawed, because we want so much more. We’re ruined, because we get these things, and wish for what we had.

Season Four of Mad Men is hauntingly amazing and the best season of television I’ve seen since Season One of 24. Catch up on Netflix ASAP

Breaking Bad – “They’re not just zombies…”

“…they’re nazi zombies”

Without question one of the best exchanges in television history.

This whole show is a series of good character exchanges. Everybody should check it out. The first three seasons are available for streaming on Netflix. In particular the second and third seasons is the best stuff I’ve seen in a long time. Bryan Cranston is brilliant playing my favorite type of character, the one where you couldn’t imagine anybody else doing better then he does.

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**SPOILER FREE**

More then any form of media ever produced 24 has been just a gigantic part of my life. For close to ten years, nearly a third of my existence, I’ve watched, dissected and played the part of one the most non aggressive fan boys of all time. 24 was a show that was made for me. On my path the thrills and emotions throughout eight seasons are ones I’ll never experience personally. Though the perfect episodes to the shitty filler episodes it’s been a long ride that all came to an end today.

Minus all emotional ties I don’t foresee a fictional character ever being better then Jack Bauer. Built as a cumulation of the great action characters of the 80′s and 90′s regardless of all the bad he did the good out weighted it. We rooted for him when in all honestly we almost shouldn’t have. For the good of the country somebody had to cross a line and he was written as the thankless hero something I’m sure almost anybody could identify working in today’s marketplace.

Today was the last new episode of 24 as we know it. Today brought back many memories of season finales past. Parties, pizza, booze, excitement, brotherhood, vanhood, theories, drama, death, and the future. Today after a long day of work and hot weather I geared up for my own personal 24 party with two 24oz’s of Bud, a slightly unhealthy dinner and me and Tepper watched the final two hours. By 8pm I was honestly as excited as I ever was. After a strong series of good episodes after a weak series of bad episodes I had to find out how everything was going to end. Retribution must be fulfilled. For the last few weeks I’ve been thinking heavily to how the show was going to spend it’s final hours.

In the end like most finales I’m not sure how I feel about everything. Stories were completed, emotions were spent, and sweet slumber was teased. On the final seconds I did find myself emotional but for all the wrong reasons. On my couch was an empty pint of beer with all the posiblities of the world ahead of me. Where 24 ended was far from where it started but my heart told me everything was for the good mirroring the narrative. I did something I haven’t done in ages and was something I did after every season. I smoked a cigarette. Slightly intoxicated but ahold of myself I took a walk around the block and ended up in front of the church around the corner of my house and looked at the american flag and for a second just thought about what 24 ending meant.

It’s time in more ways then one.

No other form of media has ever given me as much as 24 has. It wasn’t much but as all forms of entertainment these days feel built to fight for your attention and your money this show was a conduit if only for a time that gave me more. Though the bauercount years, to going out with friends to the bar after the episodes and the friendships that were earned and strengthened though the show 24 was my Twin Peaks. Many people over time have dropped off the “Bauer Power Hour” as the show quality to a degree dropped but I still feel aside from a few programs nothing else on television even came close to what 24 was doing. The show to me was a natural progression from the 80′s action movies I loved growing up to a modern day explosion drama.

In the future I might discuss season 8 and the show in length but I doubt it. Weekly episodes are over and there is nowhere to go but forward. My tentative plans is to do one final watch of all seasons now knowing the ending then put the show to rest. In the future time permitting for all parties I would love to put up a completed archived bauercount.com.

My thanks go to the 24 staff. The first five seasons I would absolutely recommend to anybody on the planet as borderline perfect television. At this point I would still consider 24 my favorite show of all time and don’t foresee that ever being surpassed. For me the clock keeps ticking.

I’m going to watch the first episode now.

Nothing More Dangerous

My ode to a blood thirsty man on a mission….

Media Overload

OK lets see here. On my bookshelf there are probably over 20 unread books I want to read. On my video game shelf I have another 20 games I still haven’t defeated. My DVD’s are stacked with unopened and unwatched DVD’s.

This is what I call Media Overload. I love reading. I love playing video games. I love watching movies. The problems is that there is TOO MANY good books, video games and movies to consume.

Keep in mind there are also other pastimes I enjoy: eating, hanging out with friends, updating my website, reading feeds, sleeping, working out periodically, vacationing, and hanging with Tepper, Gizmo, and Che to keep the list short.

Everybody I believe has queues of entertainment they don’t have the time to do because of there are already a million things everybody needs to do and wants to do and sadly everybody has to work sometime.

Personally I don’t view this as a problem but more of a discussion point. It’s a good thing in our day of age that we have so much entertainment available. Do others find Media Overload a issue? I’d like to hear some feedback mostly because I think about it a lot.

The Sopranos – ‘Made in America’

Yesterday I watched the series finale of ‘The Sopranos’. Within the last year I was able to catch up with the previous 85 episodes to get prepared for the ending. After avoiding spoilers all day on various media outlets I hooked up my Dell to the TV and watched the final 60 minutes with my roommates.

The main reason I’m posting this is because I’m shocked on all the coverage around the net and in the news.  On Technorati “Sopranos” is the second most popular search on their site. On CNN they have had two “Latest News” stories [1] [2] on the finale and their first article is listed as the most popular item still today still trumping Paris Hilton (thankg god…). It also seems people are storming wikipedia defacing David Chase‘s entry out of anger.  The HBO website also has been getting assaulted with complaints and service cancellations over the finale.

**SPOILER CITY**

My feelings on the finale are a little different then I think some people. First I’ve only recently got engaged in the show.  Some fans have probably been watching since 1999 and invested so much time (similar to my time investment in 24?) that the finale has been the episode they’ve been waiting for.  Closure to a eight year ride?  A final goodbye to The Family Soprano?

Did the finale deliver that?  I think so…
Did the finale the deliver the desired closure?  As a whole I don’t think so…

Look at this picture. When I first saw that I thought we would get to see Tony in New York becoming the Boss of NYC or something crazy.  Tony moves out of New Jersey and goes to NYC? Something we haven’t seen before? A New Beginning?

The finale showed nothing we haven’t seen before in the Sopranos.  Closure I found was delivered to a degree (Tony’s kids are on their way doing well, Carmella is a woman, Tony spoke with Junior, Phil got what was comin to him, blah blah) but not huge epic ending above all endings.

Second, the more I thought about it though the more I ended up liking the finale but mostly just for what is was. The Sopranos is not a show like 24, or Lost where their best hours need to come at the of a season. With those shows you EXPECT the finale hours to be action packed, clear up all story lines, or have cliffhangers.  The Sopranos gave us something to think about, something to discuss, something to dissect and something to argue.

Creator David Chase said: “”I have no interest in explaining, defending, reinterpreting, or adding to what is there.” I agree with him 100%.  The finale was left for the viewer to do what they want with it.  Rather then spell everything out (Six Feet Under Finale) they left the story open to theories (Tony gets whacked by the bathroom guy/Place the viewer into Tony’s mindset/Dream Sequence) and other internet speculation and craziness.

Regardless, the finale is what it is. Tony Soprano has brb’ed and more then likely never coming back.  The final episode packed 12 songs somehow in 60mins (Sopranos Series Finale CD?) and at the same time spawned a million opinions. As a whole I would recommend the entire series to anybody.  At the core is a family drama but contains violence, nudity, anger, drugs, and humor.  In the end a finale wasn’t bad but I felt was a tad anti-climatic but is good for what is was and tried to accomplish.

What Lies Ahead – 24 Season 6 Finale

Promises have been made that this would be an epic post.

As maybe one the largest fans of 24 I have things need to be said. Opinions need to be stated. Feelings need to be lade to rest. After this week I realy don’t want to think about the show for seven months….here goes nothing…

Was this my least favorite season of 24….yes….
Where there unforgivable character/storyline mistakes….yes….
Did I hate this season and will I stop watching….no….

**Spoiler Haven**

I’m not even sure really to begin. Mostly I wanted to write a concise post to funnel all my feelings into one place and be done with it. Most will agree the first seven episodes up to Papa Bauer murdering his own son were pretty good. The vampire bite, Assad and his interaction with Jack, the action sequences minus heavy gunplay (subway/CTU raids), Curtis getting owned, the bomb going off, and even the twist of Graem being Jack’s brother was good. If season 6 was a 6.98 episode companion piece for season 5 I would have been estatic.

After Graem being axed by his father things kinda went downhill. At the start of the season I was hoping Papa Bauer would be a good guy or at least not involved with the main terrorist plot. Graem I would handle being evil but Papa was just a little much. Moreover, with Logan returning I didn’t hate the idea but he really was just wrote in to ‘return’. TPTB then went ahead and slaughtered the Aaron Pierce character having him get romantically involved with a mentally unstable Martha Logan. I could go on for awhile here; the “Jack Light” episodes, the tease of Josh Bauer being Jack’s son, the retarded kid episode, and the terrible ending to an otherwise amazing Fayed Death episode. These are what I call the “unforgivable mistakes”…but as a reminder…every season has had these….

Now everything may sound a little harsh. Most everything episode 16 though 24 was an improvement but not stellar. A little storyline rehash here and there but the action picked up and we did get a few vintage 24 episodes. Trivia: Halfway though the season Jack had seven kills, the second half he got 42 (maybe 43 still thinking of adding one).

Another thing of note season 6 was filmed beautifully. Explosions, special effects, and location shoots were absolutely top notch. Case in point the season finale had some movie quality camera work. The shots from the helicopter to the oil rig were amazing all the say to the wonderful shot of Jack to close the season (see above photograph) with a silent clock.

I’ve commented in discussions in multiple places around the web with other random thoughts on this season. When pulling these thoughts from the web I realized how much I’ve invested in 24 as a whole. For the past five years I’ve been watching the finale’s with many of my good friends and had amazing unforgettable times watching the show. I’ve worked a little side project with friends and other fans of the show and because of that been I’ve been shown on television packages, magazine articles and been wikipedia sourced (although that should be Gun Bunnie).

I’ve also realized the writers are no longer writing the show for hardcore fans in mind. On top of that I’ve also come to the conclusion I don’t really care anymore. The amount of recap in the episodes is becoming unforgivable, as they are looking to pickup viewers straggler fans along the way (didn’t really work). The Shield and the Sopranos write with hardly any in episode recap something 24 needs to strive towards.

The rumors going around the internet is that season 7 is going to be a “re-creation.” 24 fans have heard this before but this time I believe it. After four seasons of Jack working on a “provisional” basis for CTU something new needs to happen. Also the Western United States have been pretty beat up by the show. Leaving LA could happen be the best thing to happen. I would like to see a “semi competent” CTU floor if they do in fact bring back CTU. If 13,000 or so Americans get blown to bits in Grand Rapids by a nuclear bomb I couldn’t imagine working for a governmental agency and trying to score with my co-workers. Hell…

For all I care almost every newly introduced character this year could never come back. Doyle was just a yes-man flipflopper and his acting in episode 23 made him sound like a hick-cowboy. Maybe he’s Shane Vendrell‘s brother? Nadia besides being hot really didn’t do anything for me. Hopefully Chloe getting knocked up is her exit from the series. Sandra Palmer and her buttbuddy Walid were annoying.

Buchanan could return (Jack/Buchanan in the field?), and at the start of the season I would never thought I would say this but Lennox could come back as well. At the start of the season I though I would hate his character but for the White House storyline he was the bright point.

For the finale the first hour was kinda “blah”. Too much Doyle sitting on the beach trying to look like a hardass. Marilyn Bauer doing the way over used “I WANT TO SEE MY SON/YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT I’M GOING THOUGH” line made me want to drink more then I already was. Buchanan coming back was a highpoint. The second hour was much better. I was shocked Cheng didn’t get blasted Henderson style I’m sure everybody thought he was a gonner. The helicopter/explosion/oil rig sequence didn’t have the impact as the submarine raid in season 5 but was the highpoint of the episode. Jack confronting Heller was cool I didn’t expect him back until the opening credits gave the ending away. About time the writers gave Kiefer something he could act with. First time in a long time I got chills watching 24 I loved the finale act.

The best way I can put it is season 6 is as the season that was bound to happen. Fulljeff nailed it saying it’s tough getting silver when your used to getting gold. Season 6 is just that. I still would rather watch an episode of 24 then Lost, House, Heroes, or all the other countless hour dramas. Regardless I believe I’ve said my piece as truthfuly, non fanboy’ish, and being as objective as I can be. Also what 24 fan doesn’t like complaining about their favorite show?! If I have any other thoughts I’ll edit this post with additions. Will Josh be Jack’s son? DOUBLE OR NOTHING!

Thoughts? Complaints? Praise?