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There Are Different Kinds of Intelligence

November 26, 2011

So my wife and I have been watching an awful lot of Eureka lately. It was my idea, so I don’t get to play innocent. Actually, I’m kind of responsible for a lot of the television we’ve watched in the last few years, though much of it winds up being my wife’s television as the seasons fly by. I still give her credit for a few major league winners, like Farscape, which I had no idea about before she introduced me to it back in… I guess it was 2004.

But yeah, Eureka was my find, and I guess that means I have to take the blame for the fact that it’s become another of my wife’s programs of choice, even though I myself really only have a better than passing interest in it at this point. It’s still good, and we did just get to the end of season two without too many bruises. However, I’m finding it a bit trite and pointless at this point, now that the moral of the story has become clear to me: even the smartest man can miss the obvious when it’s staring him in the face, and sometimes you need someone who isn’t as involved to spot what you missed.

Sheriff Carter in the series is written as the amiable everyman who likes a ballgame and a beer after work, and is sort of bewildered by the women in his life (who find him hopelessly flawed) and vexed by the men (who clearly think he is surplus to requirements). His best friend in the series up to this point has been lying to him for about a season, and has abused their friendship at almost every turn since the death of his beloved at the end of the first season. His daughter is a typical rebellious teenager with abandonment issues and a problem with authority figures. The woman he loves is still hung up on her ex-husband, who in turn is still severely hung up on her, and wants her back at any cost. His relationship with our PoV character is generally smarmy and hostile, and his motives and methods are always in question, because the guy doesn’t ever take a helpful position on anything that goes wrong in the frequently dire township of Eureka.

I guess the problem now is, even if they shake up the entire fabric of the show (which I already know they do in one of the later seasons, though I was careful no to to memorize that information), they can’t help but stick to the basic formula because it’s an American Sci-Fi television show, which means scared producers playing it safe. It’s a wonder any good television gets made on this continent anymore. I certainly don’t see anything coming out of Canada at the moment that makes me sit up and take notice.

The sad bit is, I like the premise of Eureka the same way I like the premise of its sister show, Warehouse 13. I just think they and certain other shows I’ve enjoyed watching from the American cable stations have largely been either milquetoast or so broad as to be unbelievable. They cancelled Lie To Me and ruined this last season of Torchwood by making it as dire and single-note as the lat two seasons of Battlestar Galactica, another series that I fell out of live with over time. Suspect Behaviour was just getting its sea legs when they canned it, which saddens me because it looked like the best thing I’ve ever seen Janeane Garofalo in. And of course, Ashes To Ashes finished up last year with that strange, fascinating ending that almost managed to trump the original series ending in Life on Mars… almost.

Meanwhile, Leverage starts up again soon, and I have a Christmas special of Doctor Who to look forward to before  a long dry spell leading up to the next season. I’m finding myself wanting to go back and watch some older shows we enjoyed like Farscape and Life on Mars, but my wife. I’m also wishing they’d made more Nero Wolfe. That was a great series that ended too soon. And I really want the last of he to get made, even though I fear the best has already been made. Despite my initial slight disappointment at Suchet’s Murder on The Orient Express (David Suchet IS Poirot, in my eyes. None better. But the writing on Orient was a bit too compressed and ham-fisted compared to the book and game, both of which I had been through previously), I have to conclude that it is a marvellous film and simply the strongest entry in the series. It’ll be a hard act to follow, and yet, Suchet finishing the series and doing the Death of Hercule Poirot will be a magnificent capstone to a remarkable run.

Even Jeremy Brett didn’t get to finish playing Sherlock before he succumbed to what some claim is a curse upon all who play the role. I think it’s bunk, but Brett was an amazing man, and very much a victim of the dark side of his own talent; Bipolar Disorder wasn’t so forgiving with him as it has been with me.

And of course, with Maury Chaykin dead, the prospect of getting more Nero Wolfe, the OTHER great genius private investigator, seems not merely remote but implausible. If there’s another actor out there with Maury’s physicality, intensity and comic timing, I’m not at all sure I’m ready for him yet.

What I think I’d enjoy would be Timothy Hutton picking up where his father left off and reinventing the Ellery Queen series to be less schlocky. We tried watching some recently, and it really does get hard to watch with so much broad, flat acting.

And they can bring back Men With Brooms any time they like. I was watching that, dammit!

Almost time for bed. I was hoping I’d be able to share some more musical progress tonight, but alas, I had no time to work today. Maybe tomorrow.

To amuse you, I leave you with an image of the tee shirt design I just uploaded tonight, based on Lee Moyer’s work with Michael Kaluta’s fabulous design work on the series Starstruck, one of the coolest and least understood Sci-Fi comic serials every created:

This tee shirt is NOT for sale, as it involves copyright issues I’m not planning on fighting. I designed it mainly for myself, though I may buy a few for friends when money permits. I just love the logo, and wanted a clean logo design for a tee shirt, instead of the official Starstruck tee shirts, which are cool, but not what I want.

If you should happen to want to see some cool tee shirts that ARE for sale, please go HERE. I plan to make more soon, though many of them are a bit esoteric. I should consider making tee shirts based on television shows I watch, along with finishing my gamer gear shirt series.

Time to stop. Thanks for reading.

Lee.

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