Saturday, October 3, 2009

Let's Talk TV

Since my last blog past was, how you say, a rather heavy affair, let's dumb things down a bit to a more acceptable level of nonsense, shall we? Let's talk about television. Actually, I have already tricked you, just one sentence in, because while I do think that most television is nonsense, and will rot your brain out, and will turn you into a slack-jawed, drooling nitwit who can recite 30-year-old TV jingles by heart but can't even name your own state senators, there is plenty of great stuff, too. Living in Berkeley as I do, I occasionally run into one of those pompous, clenched-buttocked snobbier-than-thou types with the "Kill Your Television" bumper sticker, or who proclaim, "I only watch PBS," but, ya know what? It's their loss. Really, the only two words you need to say to folks like that are "The" and "Wire." Because if you haven't watched that show, then you haven't seen one of the great, extended storytelling feats of the past 50 years, in any medium.



So, yeah. I like television. And I'm not sorry. Heck, if you wanted to, you (not me, because I'm too lazy and want to play Batman: Arkham Asylum soon) could probably write a pretty persuasive essay on how television is producing more quality work these days than film (at least in this country.) But actually all I wanted to do here was tell you what I'm watching right now. Which I shall now do, forthwith!

1. Glee. It's not fully formed yet. I think they're still in that freshman season tentative state of trying to find their proper voice (just like Buffy season 1), but there enough moments of greatness and, err, glee, to have high hopes. If nothing else, they have comedy goddess Jane Lynch, who steals every single scene she's in, almost as if she wandered in off another set, and whose presence ensures I'll never miss an episode, as long as she's on.



She's not the only good thing. The premise itself--about this group of high school misfits (HEY WAIT A SECOND!) trying to make good in the Glee Club--is solid enough, but distinguishes itself with its presentation and style, with the show busting out into full-on, joyous musical production numbers 3 or 4 times per episode. If you are even mildly predisposed to like musicals, you just can't not like this show. (I went from "like" to "love" after last week's production of Queen's "Somebody to Love"). Still, there's the tone issue. I'm not sure how hilarious teen pregnancy is, for one, nor am I too thrilled that there doesn't seem to be any female characters--at least so far--who aren't either villains or schemers of some sort. The show has handled the issue of homosexuality with surprising grace, so it's clear the creators don't lack sensitivity. So here's hoping they humanize some of the girls/women as the series progresses.

2. Top Chef and Project Runway. I know what you may be thinking now. "Is Jeff Green gay?" No, I am not, and if you need to immediately see some sign of my hetero/testosterone-driven self, you may skip down to the Sons of Anarchy entry below. I really try hard to limit my intake of reality TV (though, yes, I will slum with the worst of the worst, like, oh, I dunno, C.O.P.S or Tool Academy) if my brain demands such medication), but these shows, for me, distinguish themselves and have a strong attraction for me personally because they are both about the same thing: Creative people being forced to create under pressure.. Yeah, sure, I like all the catty bickering and snarkiness and all that other good stuff too, but at root the reason I can handle these two reality shows rather than most of the rest is because of the respect I have for (most of) the contestants, as well as just the thrill of watching what they come up with under severe time constraints and often ridiculous circumstances. And, yes, I have a crush on Tim Gunn just like everyone else. Which, again, does not make me gay. (Not that there'd be anything wrong with that.)

3. Mad Men For the same reasons that everyone else watches it, and why the critics love it, and why it wins boatloads of Emmys (which, actually have zero credibility for All Eternity anyway since they failed to recognize The Wire). It's brilliantly written and sublimely acted. Some people have been bitching about this season being "slow," or that "nothing is happening," but I submit that if you feel this way, you're either not watching it the right way (patiently) or are conveniently forgetting the first two seasons. This show has always been a slow burn. (Kinda like The Sopranos often was.) The show spends a ton of time setting everything up, letting characters and situations simmer, not having everything HAPPEN right away--just like in real life, hey! I think this show, almost more than any I've seen, really bears repeated viewings, because it's only then that you can see just how much care is going into every aspect of it, how much nuance and playfulness and foreshadowing is going on in the writing. I do know it's the one show I won't watch if I'm at all tired, because I know I'm going to miss too much, waiting for "the action," when, really, the action in Mad Men is all about the inner turmoil of the characters, their struggles to make sense of a world that is changing all around them, a sense of freedom and release for some, and of doom for others. Also, the clothes are awesome.

4. Sons of Anarchy Okay, dudes--happy now? Yes, I love the violent motorcycle gang show. A lot. I missed the first season entirely, but now not only am I on board, but it's the one show that I realized I started actively anticipating and getting impatient for. For me, it's the new Oz: Bad men behaving badly and violently, a super tough soap opera for guys, a fantasy trip about power and dominance, with bursts of yeehaw action and bloodshed for us cheering but harmless plebes in the bleachers. Oh yeah, for the snobs in the house, it's also been explicitly stated by the creator that this is all based on Hamlet , if you must know, but that's just if you want to not feel guilty for watching. It's also not really about the motorcycles,either, which is fine, because even though I ride one, I obviously couldn't identify less with these characters. It's not about a middle-aged Jewish guy commuting to his job in the videogame industry. Ron ("Hellboy") Perlman is great as always, doing that gigantic guy with a heart thing he does so well--but the writers are also clearly muddying things up, as he does some extremely bad things that, like Tony Soprano, would make him a villain in any other story.



Adding even-worse bad guys this season--some despicable white supremacists led by Adam Arkin and former Black Flag lead "singer" Henry Rollins--makes it easier to root for our motorcycle gang heroes, but, again, like The Sopranos, and The Shield, you're constantly being forced to consider just who and what it is you're rooting for. Even though you do hope they kick ass.

So that's my Now Watching list. Mostly. Needless to say, there's still The Daily Show and Colbert Report, though not as daily as they should be. And House, because Hugh Laurie can do no wrong.

Really, though, all this stuff? Just biding time until Lost returns.

47 comments:

Protocol Snow said...

I recommend Modern Family to you. I think it's the type of comedy you like and perfect for watching with your wife and kid. ABC on Wednesdays.

Jim said...

The Wire, really? I watched the first episode of the first season of The Wire, and it tried to establish a dozen characters and six stories, giving none of them enough screen time for me to get a handle on them. How is it good storytelling if you need to take notes to keep track of everything that's going on?

Andrew said...

The way I see it, watching Glee is balanced by me watching Friday Night Lights, and I can watch a high school musical (that isn't High School Musical) shame-free. This is what I tell myself.

-skip

Jeff Green said...

Jim,

The Wire requires you to pay attention, yes. So do many books and movies and TV shows--especially those with any substance to them. But to pass judgment on it based on the very first episode? When the story unfolds over the course of six seasons? Come on, dude, that's not even trying. Watch a season, then talk to me. Otherwise, yer just flappin' your lips without saying anything.

Troy Goodfellow said...

Didn't dig the final season all that much, but The Wire is some of the best stuff TV has ever seen. It's not perfect, but boy is it close. Listen to Mr. Green - to miss The Wire is to miss something very special.

As a musical geek, I appreciate Glee when I see it, but it's not appointment TV for me yet. Maybe it should be?

There's really no new show this season dragging me in for some reason. People keep recommending Flash Forward to me, but I already have Lost and Dollhouse - I can only take so much mystery/mythology stuff before I explode.

wobbles said...

Though you didn't really bring it up here, I've been trying to wrap my head around your seemingly unlimited praise for Buffy. I think you listed it in the same breath as The Wire when talking about great television once, and though it's a fun show I just don't see how you can do that with a straight face.

There are a couple really good episodes, a lot of decent ones, and a truckload of mediocre and awful episodes.

I never got to the last season, I had to give up on it after the ridiculous ending to season 6 where willow is suddenly evil, under a pathetic and shallow metaphor for addiction and drug use. Nevermind that it's entirely out of character.

Don't get me wrong, it's not a terrible show. Hell I made it through 6 seasons and that's saying a lot given how critical I am about TV. I just don't understand how it ended up on the pedestal you've given it.

udabenshen said...

I don't get Modern Family. I feel like there is something deeply missing from that show.

I would recommend to you Jeff, if you like Jane Lynch, to check out "Party Down." Its on Starz (I know...), but its really really funny. Maybe I like the irony a bit too much, but I enjoy think the cast overall is just fantastic.

J said...

Jeff,

You should really watch at least the second half of Sons of Anarchy season one. Its worth it.

Also, are you a fan of Breaking Bad? I know they aren't airing new episodes right now but, man, what a show.

Kevin said...

2010 will bring Lost AND Chuck. Don't forget Chuck.

Anonymous said...

What a jip.

I thought we were going to get to play the role of doctor again. I truly enjoyed last week's installment, and really felt like a top psychiatrist, listening to the patient, moaning about his unhappy childhood.

It was kind of nice to be the doctor this time around.

They sent me to a psychiatrist when I was a kid, and after a two-hour 'conversation', which flowed like molasses, the guy simply declared that I had/have 'an undiagnosed mental condition'. Great.

Anyhow, television.

Wow, I don't watch television anymore. Not because I'm a snob, and believe that people should be going out to the ballet, or to see theatrical presentations (i.e. plays), but rather because I have a stack of PC games on my shelf that reaches up to the ceiling, and would much prefer to play those. I can't even seem to get through a movie anymore - I'll start a movie and then, inevitably, an hour into it something like Majesty 2 will start calling to me, or I'll just want to finish off that fight in Batman that's been troubling me, or my Risen demo will finish downloading and I'll want to try that out to see what that game is like. (It's not very good actually. I would say that Risen is a poor man's 'Oblivion'. There's zero character customization, the combat just sucks, and the graphics, imo, are kind of weak. Well, I'll still end up buying it probably. But not before Dragon Age! - only one month to go now. Woot!)

The one program I do watch though is The Amazing Race - love that show. But that's pretty much it for me and television. (I would never admit publicly that I'm also a fanatic of Survivor. Never.)

The one DVD series that I keep on taking a look at whenever I visit The Future Shop is House. I was an admirer of Hugh Laurie from his days playing as Bertie Wooster on the Wodehouse series and saw back then how amazingly talented that guy really is. Maybe if the price of the DVD-set gets lowered a little I'll pick it up - I tend to walk out with a game instead.

But Green, mind if I ask you a question: you live in Berkeley, yeah? You work five days a week, you have a family, you watch television, you seem to be up to date on every game that's available, you're a music enthusiast (and even go to the concerts), you seem to have a passion for books and have even stated that you usually have two on the go at once (or was it Shawn Elliott who said that?), you ride that blasted bike of yours all over the countryside... none of this is to mention that you maintain a blog site and occasionally update your Twitter feed - so how many hours in a day are there in Berkeley, anyhow, because you know what, where I live we only have 24?

I'm having a difficult enough time just juggling the gaming thing?

Also, thanks for the Twitter feed link to the article written by Elmore Leonard. I don't agree with all of it. But a lot of it is true - if not obvious - and is at least worth being reminded of. :)

Samit Sarkar said...

Yay, TV! I was listening to ESPN's Bill Simmons on his podcast, The B.S. Report, a few weeks ago -- he had MTV's Chris Connelly on, and they were discussing the best movies of the decade. I thought Connelly made a great point when he said that the best "movies" of the 2000s are actually TV shows; they discussed awesome stuff like The Wire, The Sopranos, Mad Men, 24, and Lost. (If you want to listen to it yourself, it's the July 15th episode, which you can find here -- scroll down.)

That isn't to say that this decade has been a poor one for films, but I really do think we're in a "golden age" of sorts for TV. Plus, it's awesome that -- thanks to services like TiVo, Hulu, and broadcast networks' websites -- TV fans are no longer slaves to weekly time slots. That's the real innovation, I think: that I can watch Lost when it airs, but that it doesn't mean that I have to miss out on another show that I love just because it's on at the same time.

Tim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim said...

Since I am pretty much the gay version of you (well, gayer), I am going to earmark "Mad Men" now, too. Our tastes and opinions have always been almost ridiculously similar ("Buffy", "Lost", "Oz", "Project Runway", "Top Chef", "Glee", etc. - just to mention the ones from this article alone). So I took your advice a while back and I am watching "The Wire". Good stuff so far although I'm only half way through the first season.

Since you took advice before from folks on "Buffy" and "Rock Band Beatles", I have two more suggestions for you.

First, it is getting old now, but "My So-Called Life" is an incredible show and I can't recommend it enough if you haven't seen it. Tremendous acting, extremely well-written, and with a high-school theme. You must see that show.

Second, if you like dark humor I would highly recommend "Six Feet Under". Heavy stuff at times, but incredible show til the end. And the series finale. wow.

P.S. If your crush was on Tom Coliccio from Top Chef and not Tim Gunn, you might have more to worry about.

P.S.S. Forgot to say I saw only the pilot so far or "Modern Family" and it was very funny as others have stated.

Anonymous said...

Samit, do you think that - that television is experiencing a golden age at the moment?

I haven't watched television religiously for decades, but the golden moment for me was when Hill Street Blues and St. Elsewhere were airing. I used to like to watch Magnum P.I., and Simon & Simon too.

Samit Sarkar said...

@Anonymous: Well, I wasn't really "around" for those days — I'm only turning 23 in five weeks. So it's really just this decade that I've started to watch "adult" TV shows, as opposed to stuff like Pinky and The Brain and Animaniacs (which are no less awesome than the shows I watch now, of course!).

Ken in Irvine said...

"...(which, actually have zero credibility for All Eternity anyway since they failed to recognize The Wire)."

QFT!

Anonymous said...

You know, Ken, I've always half-wondered what QFT meant.

I've been seeing it all these years at forums but have never actually bothered to look it up.

QFT = quoted for truth.

We're supposed to use it when we believe that the person we're quoting has said something that's profoundly truthful - in that respect, it's like a thumbs-up, I suppose?

We're also supposed to use it when we suspect that the person we're quoting might sneakily go back and re-write their post after we've demolished it, later on, with a cunning argument.

In this case I believe you were giving the thumbs-up, yeah?

(You see, it's true, you really do learn something new every day.)

Mike said...

I never wrote in to say how much I love Greenspeak. I think the first thing I remember reading was a diss to Lord British, Mr. Garriot, in CGW. I didn't even know who the hell he was at the time.

Anyway, blah blah, I'm a big fan of your writing, blah blah. All I'm trying to say is, I loved it then and I love it now.

Raf said...

Jeff, you had me at "The Wire" :) Greatest show ever, tied with Deadwood, imho.

Cornbread said...

I have the same issue with Glee. Sometimes it seems like it's going to be a light-hearted show about nerdy kids and other times it's a little scary. Is his wife planning on taking the cheerleader's baby somehow? Isn't it clear to him that the woman he married is nuts? Is that supposed to be funny? Because I found it irritating.

smikwily said...

Just sounding off for the greatness that is The Wire. As good as it gets for great TV. Realistic story/drama/comedy all in one. Very, very highly recommended.

If you are looking for lighter fare, I also recommend How I Met Your Mother and Big Bang Theory. As a fellow Geek, I can say Big Bang is something you will both identify with and enjoy. It's geeks speaking geek and doing it quite well. The writing on HIMYM is also top notch with great banter, call backs, etc.

Also, for somewhat obscure, check out Better Off Ted. Not sure many watch it, but after about 3 eps the writing staff hit their stride. I've caught myself belly laughing at more throw away lines than I care to count.

Hanjun said...

When the Wire was coming to a close about a year ago, Bill Simmons from ESPN had Jason Whitlock on to talk about it, and I think Whitlock made a great point about The Wire. And that is, the people who stuck through season one till the ninth and tenth episode and saw what happened with Wallace, Poot, and Bodie are the ones who really taken everything that the Wire had to offer. The people who didn't get around to see that seminal moment tend to be the so called "haters" and their opinions less valid for it.

Anonymous said...

Mike,

Yeah, the open letter to Richard Garriott. That was a classic.

I visited the Ascension forum in December of that year and posted about the game, wondering how Origin could've released a game that was clearly not finished.

I was shocked... just shocked... to learn years later that the design team had been given a direct order: either ship the game for the Christmas sales, or else the plug would be pulled.

So they shipped it, knowing full well that they were shipping an unfinished game.

In April of that year (remember now that this was when the internet was a lot slower than it is today... or rather, people's modems weren't as fast as they are now) I went to my mailbox and discovered that Origin had sent me a CD containing the finished game.

Just wow.

An admission of guilt, right there.

Anyway, Green speaking up like that... it just confirmed what I had always suspected of him - namely, that the guy just likes to complain about stuff and never shuts up.

Goose.

Jeff Green said...

Wobbles:
I absolutely would *not* put Buffy in the same league as The Wire, but, then, I would put almost no TV in that same league. I think Buffy is better than you give it credit for, though, and at least one episode, "The Body", is a total classic, and is probably the best single hour of television I've ever seen about death and its aftermath for the loved ones of the deceased.

Tim:
Our tastes remain alike! I saw the full runs of both "My So-Called Life" and "Six Feet Under" when they originally aired, and yeah, both fantastic.

Mike/Goose:
My "open letter" to Lord British would probably go in my own personal top 5 of my columns. Especially because Origin banned me from their office after it was published. I was so proud! :)

Tristessa said...

The "Kill Your TV" crowd...wow. We have tons of them here in Seattle too. The ones who like to say "I don't have a TV" with a weird emphasis on the word 'have', that in itself is asking me "why would you even think I had one?"

Reminds me of a time I shut down a "books are smarter than movies" debate with the question 'Danielle Steel romance novel vs. a Stanley Kubrick film?'...but that's another story. (I'm glad those arguments are few these days)

I'm glad I can always count on you to remind me that I still haven't finished watching The Wire. It would be easier if they'd just make it available to stream via Netflix.

Glee looks like it could go from fun to great if they can escape this formative season. Funny that you should mention Buffy season one, which I'm always warning people about when they jump in to watch that show now that it's all done. The heaps of praise can leave one scratching their head when witnessing some of the more awkward moments. Which is where I am with Glee. There's something great about to happen with the show and I hope it can get itself there without taking a fatal turn.

Also, thanks for pointing out that Elmore Leonard piece a few days ago. He's one of my favorites (only thing I haven't read is one western and his newest). And I hate adverbs! I sometimes feel like the only woman on Earth who reads his books...getting eye rolls from coworkers when telling them how good he is seems to be a long standing tradition. I think too many grizzled, tobacco stained old men coming in for his new books is giving them the wrong idea about the stories inside.

Book question - I see you're reading 'Girl Who Played With Fire' - did you read 'Girl With the Dragon Tattoo'? I'm still on the fence about it. It sounds great but something about it tells me that it might have a long, dull 3rd quarter...where too many books have trouble gluing the climax to the rest of the work.

Ian C said...

Jeff

On your recommendation I picked up season 1 of Mad Men on DVD and I have to agree it's a fantastic show. It’s well written but the real strength is the cast, each actor really works in the role and you’re just left wanting more after each episode.

Same goes for the Wire, it’s hard to pick a character in that show that seems out of place in the role. It’s a slow burning show which takes a hold the more you watch, and I’m amazed how Andre Royo didn’t manage to win an award for the role of Bubbles.

The last few years have seen a golden age for TV where it’s shown it’s not just reality TV and sitcoms. We’ve had The Sopranos, The Wire, Deadwood, Oz, Supernatural, House, The West Wing, Rome, Carnivale, Mad Men and Dexter to name but a few of the greats. It’s a great time to be a TV viewer !

Also I’ve enjoyed reading your thoughts on Buffy, I was a guilty convert just as season 7 was showing and had to rush out to buy the boxsets on DVD. It’s guilty of a few “dips in quality” but there are some classic moments in there. Even when dealing with trivial stuff Whedons writing really shines through, I’d take an episode of this over 24 or Lost anyday.

Paul said...

@Anonymous(es): How many of you are there? It makes it difficult to hold a coherent conversation.

Jeff Green said...

Tristessa:

Man, I love Elmore Leonard. I've actually fallen WAY behind on him, after reading everything by him (except the westerns) for years. I kinda binged, and haven't been able to get back to him. But I will, and I know I will be happy.

"Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"--oh heck no, it doesn't taper off at all. It actually builds momentum and gets pretty unputdownable by the end. I'm liking the new book even better. The ONLY hesitancy I have with recommending that book is that it is surprisingly violent in parts, especially towards women. (The original Swedish title was actually "Men Who Hate Women") But if you can handle Elmore Leonard, you're probably okay. :)

Bobby K said...

Jeff, have you tried Flash Forward? First 2 episodes have me hooked. It reminds me of the CBS show from a few years ago, Jericho where they have a major event in the first episode then from there its trying to solve the mystery and unravel the clues. I have yet to watch the 2nd season of Jericho to see how they wrapped it up.

I to love The Wire. Although I have to admit when it first aired it was slow to hook me. It was a show you had to give time and allow to brew. But I stuck with it and it was worth it. I haven't seen the last season yet after I had to drop HBO but I'll catch up on it soon.

Tristessa said...

Thanks for the info!

Something about it just made me think 'Dragon Tattoo' was going to slip into dense procedural style territory.

Violence (fictional) doesn't bother me at all, no matter who it's directed at. I also read, and love, the work of James Ellroy. He's turned out some of the most dark and disturbing novels I've ever read. And a new one just came out!

This has been a great year for books =)

Jeff Green said...

How did I not know there was a new James Ellroy book out?? He's like one of my very favorite writers in the entire universe. Can't believe I didn't know this. Thanks Tristessa!

James said...

Boo, I came to see if you had commented about the FTC ruling today, and the effect this will have on game journalism.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/FTC-Bloggers-must-disclose-apf-468964868.html?x=0&.v=2

or

http://tinyurl.com/ycv2kex

Basically, for those who haven't heard, the short version is that online reviewers are going to have to disclose what they may have received during their reviewing process. Has EA flown them out somewhere? Did they go to a buffet banquet paid for by the company they are reviewing? Were they given free games? I remember in the magazine and on the podcast, you often lamented how much influence the developers had on the review process and well, with the stiff penalties associated with violating this new FTC mandate, things are gonna change. For the better, I hope.

On a side note: Sons of Anarchy sucks. :p If you've got FX, you need to watch It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia!

Anonymous said...

Tristessa, that's quite an interesting profile you've got there.

You're a bookseller?

That's a noble profession.

"... and that you do so, without quitting or failing," Sonny Mehta once said to the Booksellers of America, while introducing President Clinton, "makes you heroes to us all."

But why are you being so secretive about your location? Are you selling banned books, or what?

Seattle-ish... hmm?

I'm going to guess that you reside in... Issaquah? Am I right? I have very powerful psychic powers, and right now I'm seeing the word Issaquah. I went bowling there one time. They used to have a really nice crack-a-joke shop there too.

Goose.

Tristessa said...

Yup...I sell books to people. Been doing that for about about 11 years. There's no money in it but I like the discount on books.

I'm not so secretive about my location. It's mostly a long standing tradition that I put something goofy in the location space. I've used "secret lair", "Yourtown USA", "right behind you"...this time I just felt the need to be mostly serious.

ArcliteHawaii said...

Great post Jeff.

I have to say that I'm indebted to you and Sean for mentioning The Wire on the GFW podcast a while back. I'm currently in the middle of season 4, and it's simply an incredible show. I may have mentioned before, IMDB rates The Wire at a 9.7 with 20K votes, higher than any other show or movie.

We truly must feel appreciative and thankful of HBO for a few things. First, for their business model which is to produce unique quality shows that will cause a certain number of new users to subscribe to a monthly cable subscription. This is why they have such a wide breadth of high quality programming: Oz, Sopranos, The Wire, Deadwood, Conchords, Real Time, etc. The standard commercial-based, Neilsen rating measured shows must be hits out of the box, and that forces a certain type of program with a certain formula.

Second, HBO showed that a slowburning, season-long (as opposed to episode-long) plot could prove popular. Without the Sopranos, there is no Mad Men, for instance.

Also, we have to be thankful for DVD releases, as it allows shows to take risks and maybe run some red ink knowing that money can be made back during DVD releases.

As streaming over the internet and video on demand replaces standard cable, I wonder if HBO's business model can survive. I hope that they and other companies like them can survive the changes in TV show delivery we're likely to expect over the next 20 years or so.

Anonymous said...

Tristessa, you sell books... to people?

As opposed to selling them to Aliens from other planets? This is my greatest fear, actually. That Aliens will invade our planet because they want our books. I say give them J.K. Rowling.

Also, '... right behind you.'

Whoa! Creepy.

I'll bet you're writing a novel, aren't you? I'll bet I even know what it's about - a female bookseller from The Pacific Northwest who plays computer games and solves murder mysteries in her spare time? If you ever come up to Vancouver, Canada, look me up.

I'm the Prime Minister.

Arclite_Hawaii said...

BTW, does anyone know where I can read Jeff's old Greenspeak columns, like the open letter to Lord British? I tried all kinds of Google searches and came up empty. I read them back in the day when I had my subscription, but those mags are long gone, sad to say.

Tristessa said...

When you work in retail for as long as I have, there grows a suspicion that many of your interactions might be with something from beyond...

I did want to write a mystery spoof of those lame "woman solves mysteries with her cat" books. In mine, the character begins to see the latest clues pointing at herself...then starts to suspect the cat is setting her up.

Anonymous said...

Tristessa, I'm reading your blog at 1up now (so I suppose it's fair to say that I'm officially stalking you... following you, I mean).

I can't log-in to leave comments though (trust me, I'd normally leave an annoying comment or two), because the only user-name and password that I have written down for the 1up website is WabeWalker, and alas, that account was banned by a certain somebody, whose name I won't presently mention.

Have you played Risen, by the way? You should play it. (Green, you should play it too.)

Man, what an amazing RPG.

The demo doesn't do the game justice - it's too short, and could lead a person to believe that the game is on the shallow side. This is an RPG of the old school, and you need to play it for at least ten hours to appreciate how deep it is. It's so compelling: on Wednesday night I started playing at seven o'clock, and I didn't stop until two in the morning! 7 straight hours! I almost didn't even answer the door when the pizza guy arrived!

I had forgotten the joys of entering an area and just getting the tar beaten out of you - but then returning to that area ten hours later, faster, stronger, better than you were before, and defeating those who defeated you earlier. In Risen you walk around the place with your jaw hanging down, because the world is so beautiful. You talk to dozens and dozens of characters, and it's all interesting and delightful, because the dialogue is so well written and the voice acting is so well performed (some of England's finest actors worked on this game, and I can honestly say that no line of dialogue was poorly voiced.)

Meanwhile the plot just builds and builds, and as you level up, and increase your skills, you really begin to feel as though you're an important part of the world. Astonishingly, when you finally get accepted into one of the three factions, you begin to feel a genuine sense of belonging.

If I'm at work, and I'm having a tough time not thinking about a game I've just bought, then I know that I've just bought a great game, and Risen has been difficult not to think about.

Batman: Arkham Asylum was great, and now I'm finding Risen to be just as great for what it is.

Man, Dragon Age - the game I've been waiting five years for - is going to have to be pretty great for it to surpass these two recent titles.

Anyhow, I'm so glad I bought Risen at Steam last week - this is an RPG that any old school gamer is going to want on his... and indeed, her shelf.

TheMeanBoss said...

Hey! Jeff, you're kind of some icon or something??? They are referencing you on other blogs. We should call you dad? :)

Taken from eat-sleep-game.com, News Section -

Rebel FM Episode 34 Pre-Show Question: Changing Media?
September 29th, 2009 by Chufmoney
With the creation of things like Capcom and Sony’s blogs, as well as publishers like EA making their own podcast and having ex-games writer Jeff Green helping their editorial presence, what does this mean for the future of game’s reporting? Are we moving into a place where the game’s media as we know it will be rendered impotent, with people getting their news and updates straight from the publishers or developers themselves? Are the only magazines that can make it sponsored ones like Future’s upcoming WoW mag, PTOM, or OXM? Let us know what your thoughts or additions are!

-Chuf

Me, I have grown to hate x1,000 corporate blogs as soooooo much good (and bad) materials are censored out.
Example: No, AoC was going to have sex-buffs...don't tell me it wasn't, or I'll pull the article.
Example: Thottbot, Wikia's, mods/addons, G4TV, so many other websites that add value to the game, publishers may even hate.
Example: Yes, WoW still needs content polishing, even though it's the best out there to date.
These types of comments get labeled trolling, squished, slammed, censored, and 6 months later (maybe even 6 years), the company goes, "Hey, do we need to fix anything? People are checking out. Why?" D'oh! :)

Note: You're not going to see published anywhere that Aion shows up on a gaydar, but everyone+their dog knows it does. LOL That said...I think this is the raw, blatant, honesty you use to use.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, not even worth answering, imo.

Websites like Gamespot, and IGN, will never be superseded by 'in-house' journalism.

Never.

The Great Unwashed are just too clever. Look at how much damage Gamespot did to themselves over the Gerstman affair. They lost a lot of cred with gamers over that.

Anonymous said...

Oh look, Jeff's Twitter feed... he's at the Blob Dylan concert.

Does this mean we're going to get a blog post about it tomorrow?

Wow, at the famous Greek Theater too.

(But wtf, people with laptops out before the show? Are laptops becoming like the new cellphones? I was at a starred restaurant one time... yes, that would be a Michelin starred restaurant... and some guy was sitting there in the middle of the room with his laptop out. The maitre'd was NOT pleased. I mean, there are times when you just have to let go of the security blanket.)

Darth Nader said...

If you think it might fit into your schedule, you might want to check out Monster. It is animated, but a very good suspense drama.

I didn't realize they were showing this in the US already, but its on SyFy on Mondays, and streamed at the site in the link. Definitely worth a look, even if you're not into anime.

Anonymous said...

Darh Nader! LOL! What a great name. That reminds me of Robert Coffey's 'Citizen Pain'.

Boothe said...

I wish Tim Gunn was my mentor in life. I'd probably be a lot more happy, and successful.

One show that a lot of people seem to be sleeping on is, Party Down. It's about a catering company, comprised of aspiring (and failed) actors, writers.

Created by a group that includes Paul Rudd and Rob Thomas, and it apparently features many people who starred in Veronica Mars (if you're down with that shit).

Jane Lynch (who is great in this) was part of the cast, but left late in the first season to join Glee.

Season 2 doesn't start until April, so if you haven't checked it out, I would highly recommend it.

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