Battlestar Heroes and Me

A week or so back I wrote about how my interest in shows I initially got pretty jazzed about was waning. In particular Battlestar Galactica and Heroes; 2 shows that just knocked my socks off in their first seasons.

Season 2 of Galactica was also pretty admiral. But I REALLY started to get worried during season 3. It was OK but all that Baltar and Sharon stuff was killing me. I mean they’re characters on the show, and I like to see them, but I had the feeling they were overdoing it. So much so that I STILL have about 4 or 5 episodes I haven’t even WATCHED yet. Yeah, for real! I mean sometimes I hold onto shows to savor the enjoyment, and sometimes I just hold onto shows…if you get what I’m saying.

But, Saturday the SciFi channel aired “Razor.” Which was EXACTLY what I needed. It went all the way back to season 2 stuff, and didn’t really reference any of the season 3 stuff, so I was able to get a new dose of the show without having to watch those last episodes of last season. Good show. Nice 2 hour mix of stuff. It was satisfying. But sadly, the writers strike might kill the show. According to this article they had filmed 9 of 20 episodes and the strike might basically kill the show for good. Is this the end for Battlestar? I don’t know.

In other, but similar news, the current season of Heroes was also not what I would have hoped for. I just wasn’t feeling it, like I did last year. So around episode 5 or so I just started saving and not watching them. Finally this Thanksgiving I decided to catch up, and VOILA it’s good again. Episodes 7, 8 and 9 were a lot of fun and in fact it brings me to a an odd question. Were they going to give Nathan Wolverine hair? Look at these.

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Ok now it’s time to get personal. Episode 10 featured some complex interpersonal dynamics that echoed my own life. Sylar has convinced Maya that her brother should not be a part of “their” journey. Originally we had a brother and sister who had complete trust in each other, and then Sylar comes along and worms his way into their lives-and divided them. Part of the reason I do this blog is because I have time now. Up until recently had a girlfriend and her kids in my life. And like that brother and sister team, we had a LONG history together. 26 years, on and off. And like that brother sister team on Heroes we had just endured some very difficult trials together and we ON OUR WAY to the relief of a good doctor. We had overcome SOOOO many obstacles. And then this guy showed up.

JUST like on the show, he convinced my woman I harbored bad feelings about her and that HE would really be on her side and together they could finish the rest of the journey. And just like on the show I presented my woman with the rock solid evidence of this guy’s past evil deeds. And JUST like Maya she announced they were alike and they would go on without me. Despite his obvious evil nature and nasty plans for her. On Heroes, you KNOW she’s headed for a world of hurt because Sylar is clearly a bad guy, and the exact same evidence was clear in my real life situation. People have warned my ex about this guy because SHE’S the one that’s going to suffer. And what’s the first thing Sylar does. He kills Alejandro. So now he’s out of a sister his life. And Maya has lost the most important thing to her and she doesn’t even know it yet. And now that I think about it, seems like I’ve heard this story before; or maybe I read it in a book called Genesis. It involved this good guy, a woman who got fooled and had to suffer, and another character that slithers.

The Demetri Martin Phenomena

This is not the definitive blog post about Demetri Martin. All I know is what I’ve read on Wikipedia, the 2 hours of footage I watched on Youtube, and what I’ve seen on the Daily Show. But I can tell you how things are probably going to go for him.

But first, for your enjoyment episode 6 of Clearification. Episodes 1-5 are on YouTube, but this one was not. So here it is.

The conclusion of Demetri’s Clearification at The Institute.

So back to Demetri. If you’re not already a fan then probably the first thing you notice about him is that he’s one of the guy’s from the Daily Show. He’s not on there often. He’s about as regular as say, John Hodgman. Who is the fastidious, bespeckled, cherubic fellow that you might recognize from his never ending Charlie Brown vs. Lucy style battles with the Apple guy in those witty commercials. Now THAT’S a sentence! But we’ll get back to how this is ironic in a minute. For now let’s focus on Martin. He has a look that’s belies both his age and level of education. And if you just catch a glimpse of him it’s possible to mistake him for Jason Schwartzman (and he’s the son of Talia Shire, and you know her right? Does this ring any bells? ADRIANNE!!! From the Rocky movies, come on!). Schwartzman turns up in a lot of Wes Anderson movies, and we’ll get to that bit of irony a little later too.

Now let’s get to the comedy. Martin’s delivery and humor have been compared to Steven Wright. According to Wiki Martin lists Wright as an influence. But from where I’m standing, he actually gives off a stronger vibe that resembles a combination of 2 guys. The first being Mitch Hedberg (who died under mysterious, possibly drug related, circumstances a few years ago). The other guy I’d say he reminds me of is Spalding Gray (who also died within a year of Hedberg under mysterious circumstances). Listen. I’m not saying Martin bumped those 2 guys off and stole their mojo, and that Schwartzman should get a body guard. I’m just comparing and contrasting. I was a big fan of the writer/performers I’ve mentioned in this paragraph and I’m even a fan of the music that Schwartzman has been putting out lately. But this was how I was able to become a fan of Martin in one weekend, figuring out how and why he seemed familiar.

On this blog, about a week back, I discussed how to be funny. And Martin is a master of what I call “wrong place” humor; that is, he juxtaposes persons, places, things and concepts for comedic effect. He’s also done some things with speed manipulation which I also discussed. If you watch his special “If I,” you’ll see how much faster he talks. Comparing that to his more recent work you can see how his pacing has been changed, and some of the meandering fat has been cut from his act. (Also see in episode 2 of Clearification, you can see a nice “wrong size” joke in the first minute).

Having said that, let’s try to put him into context. Basically he’s had, and is having, a very quick rise, to stardom. Comparable to Dane Cook. You see, where MySpace has been Cook’s bread and butter I’d have to say YouTube has been Martin’s. Don’t get me wrong, he’s used MySpace too but Martin has done a rather bold thing by allowing what has to be tremendous amounts of his act to flourish on YouTube. Having had only a short career he can’t have THAT much material, but I’d say the bulk of it is available there. See, there are long time comics like Jeffery Ross and Andy Kindler, who are still “young guys” but who really haven’t “hit” yet with the kids. And they probably wont. They’re purist; they write jokes, they perform jokes. And there are good and bad things to having a focus like that. Louis CK is a comic too. Boom. That’s what he does, BUT he’s willing to branch out-diversify HOW he gets his humor to the public. He directed Pootie Tang for God’s sake! And Martin and Cook have not only used the social network sites, but have created projects for themselves and had ZERO remorse about “selling out” (whatever that means in today’s world).

Cook is clearly on the gravy train to movies. He’s still doing the stand-up but it’s arena level. Martin has partnered with Microsoft (remember that irony I referred to) to create a 6 part short film called Clearification. So one guy from the Daily Show is with MS and another guy with Apple. These movies by the way have the look and feel of (ready for that second piece of irony?) Wes Anderson movies-so we have a pseudo Schwartzman in a pseudo Anderson series of films. In fact I’d say he’s about 2 years behind Cook on the same path. Hey, I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m anti-Martin. I’m not. But I’ve been around media a long time and I’ve kinda seen or DONE many, many things. I make connections. Sometimes I even make stuff.

Wont you please take a look a look at a little animated movie I made almost NINE long ass years ago. Go watch the Clearification videos first though. But I did pretty much all the same stuff…