What’s Up? (6/18/2018)

Greenfield Glide 5K
It’s already been two weeks since I ran my first 5K on Sunday, June 3rd — the Greenfield Glide — which was somewhat familiar as a good half-mile was on park trails that I run on regularly. The big takeaways for me was, first of all, that I’m capable of running 3.1 miles in at least 35 minutes (probably less, if I hustled more) and two: that running a 5K with hundreds of people is FUN and gives you motivation. So that being said, no surprised that I’ve signed up to run another one this Sunday, June 24 — the Stride for Pride.

Yoga
Another recent first for me — this past Sunday, June 17 I attended my first Yoga class, a 75-minute Vinyasa Flow session in a 85-degree room that was dripping with humidity. It kicked my ass, in a good way. Not the same workout as a run, but different in a valuable way, as parts of my body got a workout that wouldn’t have been worked out otherwise. I also learned a lot from the amateur mistakes I was making as a first-timer, and I look forward to improving my Yoga game in future classes.

Lucifer
Lucfier is a weird show that refuses to die, and I can’t help but appreciate that. The buddy-cop procedural crime show about the LITERAL devil getting paired up with a homicide detective to solve murders got renewed for an okay Season Two and then somehow, a Season Three (which was pretty disastrous, even alienating the few fans that stuck around that long). After getting the axe from Fox, #SaveLucifer became a trending topic, however forced by the desperation of the Lucifer community, who never quite got what they wanted out of the show. I mocked the Save Lucifer movement, and yet, and yet, the show got picked up for a Season Four by Netflix.

Back in 2016 I wrote “With any luck the show’s writers will spend less time in Season Two reminding us that the devil likes to fuck, and more time bringing these two [Lucifer and Chloe] closer together and giving Chloe definitive proof that she’s working with the real devil.” While Season Two continued to develop Lucifer’s whole “Ladykiller In Love” trope, as a man-child playboy with a fixation on his partner, Chloe Decker, it continued to flip-flop on the will-they won’t-they story. As TV Tropes puts it: “Lucifer, who has charmed and slept with possibly thousands of women, realizes in Season Two’s “Homewrecker” that he’s in love with Chloe.”

Season Two’s cliffhanger ending had Lucifer on the verge of confessing his love for Chloe before being mysteriously interrupted, and then Season Three only further taunted fans by teasing out their relationship even more by turning it into a love triangle, and ending the show with the most tantalizing cliffhanger the fans could imagine — Chloe finding out that her partner, Lucifer, is ACTUALLY the devil.

After an awful Season Three, even by Lucifer’s cringe-worthy standards, I can’t help but admit that I am totally here for Netflix’s Season Four, and I hope the show can go out on a nice 10-episode swan song. And then please, let this show die. Or reach 100 episodes. I don’t know.

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What’s Up (10/3/16)

Planned Parenthood
After a bit of an absence it feels really nice to have Planned Parenthood people back in my life. There was some fundraiser back in May, or so, but since August things have been a little more regular, and last week there were two events back to back; a debate watch on (9/26) and then a little s’mores and cider Autumn-themed party. Can’t say I’ve had that much to drink on a Monday/Tuesday  back to back before, but it was all for a good cause, and it’s been really great just to have like-minded people surrounding me again

Lucifer
Speaking of things that are coming back into my life… my guilty TV-pleasure, Lucifer, is back again too. With season one ending on (4/25) and season two starting on (9/19) fans of show, both real and slightly ironic like myself, really didn’t have to wait long to get more Lucifer. Is the writing any worse? Heck, it’s kind of hard to tell with this show, but I’m still ‘enjoying’ it? Glad to have it back, especially as we enter Autumn, and I need crappy TV to keep me occupied while I ride the stationary bike.

Autumn
And speaking of Autumn; that of course, is back and I’m liking it so far. Can’t say I come out of Summer with any regrets really. If there’s any year when I used every day of nice weather to my advantage, it was this year. I ran a lot. I’m almost coming on the 1-year anniversary of dedicating myself to a better, more exercise-filled life, but more on that (10/10). I kind of wish Autumn would **** or get off the bucket though, I hate these days that are 50 degrees in the morning and 70 in the afternoon: how are you supposed to dress for that?

Formula 1 
Finally, if there’s one more thing that’s really defining what’s on my mind on a week-to-week basis, it’s Formula 1. With only 5 races left this year, Nico Rosberg is in the lead with 23 points after an amazing Singapore and Malaysia Grand Prix. As a fan of Nico, I can’t really relax because a lot can happen in 5 races. Heck, actually, it’s possible for him to lose that lead in just ONE race. Still, I’m rooting for him and looking forward to a good fight.

Lucifer, Season One (2016)

Premiered January 25th, 2016, ended April 25th, 2016

“Lucifer is a TV show where the devil, the literal devil, solves crimes with an LAPD detective in a buddy-cop procedural crime format.”

When I tell people that, I hear back “really?” or “wow” or “so… is that on Netflix or?” Quite frankly, it’s that ridiculous premise that brought me to the show in the first place, and it’s what kept me around through the end of the season. Lucifer is not an intelligent show. Lucifer is basically the “popcorn movie” of television, something that’s best enjoyed by turning off your brain and trying to enjoy the spectacle of it all. But even with your brain on low-power mode, I suspect you’ll notice that the writing is cringe-worthy, the crimes are like jigsaw puzzles for children (the culprit is always the second or third person you meet), and even the spectacle of having an immortal super-powerful demons and angels as part of the cast is underused.

So, that sounds like a lot of negatives, and I’m far from suggesting the show to anybody without caveats, but here’s why I want to make the case for Lucifer. In the midst of this Golden Age of Television (if I can call it that), where there is no shortage of amazing, critically acclaimed dramas, comedies, thrillers, etc. why would I watch the mediocre, middling Lucifer all the way through? Because I’m overwhelmed by good television. With so many suggestions out there like Better Call Saul, The Americans, Jessica Jones, Master of None, Narcos… not to mention my outstanding series left unfinished like The Wire, House of Cards, The X-Files, Twin Peaks, among others… with so many great, great shows piling up, the easiest choice to make is to begin none of them, and sit back and watch something like Lucifer.

Tom Ellis plays a handsome-enough, charming-enough Lucifer who’s really at his best when he’s playing it as a calm, cool, enraged Lucy, rather than a playboy. Lauren German deserves more credit than she gets for keeping the show alive as detective Chloe Decker, who has Lucifer forced on her as a crime-solving partner. Lucifer is often very whiny, and the ways in which he is portrayed to be “cool” would have been more convincing if I were 8-10 years younger – Chloe Decker helps balance things out, challenging Lucy’s too-cool persona and forcing him to occasionally grow up. With any luck the show’s writers will spend less time in Season Two reminding us that the devil likes to fuck, and more time bringing these two closer together and giving Chloe definitive proof that she’s working with the real devil.

Again, I think part of the reason I’m drawn to Lucifer is because I find the mountain of critically-acclaimed television piling up a paralyzing feat. Choosing one show to start is intimidating, and the thought of falling into a Netflix hole again is not appealing. It’s easier to dedicate one hour a week to this show that doesn’t really require my full attention. And you know what? It’s fun to drop that bomb on people. “I’m watching this show where the devil, the literal devil, is in a buddy-cop crime show.”

“Is it any good?” they may ask.
“Eh. No” I may say, “but it doesn’t really matter. The devil’s a cop and that premise is good enough to keep me watching.”